When Opposition Rages Against Us


When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. — Acts 5:33

So let's take a deeper look into the context of this intense moment. The apostles were standing before the religious ruling council. And there were two types of religious leaders on this council — Sadducees and Pharisees. Each group has slightly different views. The first difference between the two was primarily theological. Sadducees denied the spiritual reality of resurrection from the dead and the afterlife (and with it concepts like heaven, hell, angels, and demons). This means they were largely secular in their practice of religion. The Pharisees, in comparison, were much more invested in these spiritual realities. They do believe in the resurrection from the dead and the afterlife. The second difference between the two was primarily political. Sadducees were aligned socially with the aristocracy and families of noble birth. Thus they had some strong ties to the Roman Government and a vested interest in their agendas. This is probably why the Roman government selected Annas and Caiphas — they were Sadducees. On the other hand, the Pharisees were more aligned to common Jewish culture. They were mostly small business owners from families with enough money to get schooling to climb their way into a place of influence. As a result, what happens here is that the Sadducees on the council become enraged with the apostles. They see the apostles and their message as a threat to everything that they believe theologically. But it's the public nature of what they are teaching that will put them at odds with the aristocracy of the Roman government. So they want to kill them.

Now let's step out of their time back into our time.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to be prepared for the opposition that these men faced. While many of us have never known persecution, the tide is shifting. There is momentum mounting against biblical truth, and at some point, it might become enraged. Sound biblical truth will be opposed by the theological diversions and political positioning of others. And as we speak up about these biblical convictions, we will be met with forceful opposition that will seek to put us down. At first, much of this will happen through shaming and social dismissal. But eventually, it will put us at odds with churches, political movements, and social groups. And we will find that at some point, we must function independently from these structures so that we can speak up and stand up about biblical truth in the name of Jesus.

I think this presents a great question for followers. It's this. Are you functioning independently enough from the systems of the world that you can speak up and stand up for Jesus Christ? I would spend some time thinking about this today. Consider how you can more effectively speak up and stand up for Jesus. Because eventually, the system will rage against us and seek to put us down.

ASK THIS: In what area of your life do you feel you lack the freedom to speak about Jesus Christ?

DO THIS: Find a creative way to speak about Jesus in this area.

PRAY THIS: God, give me the courage to speak about freedom in you!

PLAY THIS: Speak — Bethel Music.


short + biblical + practical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

9 thoughts on “When Opposition Rages Against Us

  1. Scott Kelley says:

    Many times (we Christians) can push people away when they respond to us in a way that we don’t like. What if we as Christians are not speaking strong and clear?

    For example, what would a non-believer ask us regarding the recent prophecies that did not come true? How we as Christians respond to unbelievers for the more difficult topics can determine if someone will stay or walk away from us.

  2. Sheldon says:

    Socially sometime we are concern about not offending some in the the crowd. But we are called to tell others my prayer is that we find creative ways to present Christ rather than pushing people further away.

    • Scott Kelley says:

      Agreed! We must be prepared for the difficult questions with responses that engage with people, instead of pushing them away.

  3. Dennis James says:

    Great devotional. This came to mind while going over this. I compare spiritual warfare to a military operation. We are in a battle and we must train to be effective in this battle. We , as Kingdom Warriors, must study the enemy and know his tactics. We must train (studying God’s Word and prayer) and learn to use our weapons of warfare (the word of God and prayer) to effectively battle against the enemy. Yes, we fight from a position of victory but we must not become complacent. In the Special Forces of our U. S. military they have elite fighting men within these branches who train hard, the are Operators. Operators learn how to operate effectively against enemy forces even if they become separated from their unit. We must train as a Operator .

  4. Cory B says:

    I guess I haven’t felt the lack of freedom to speak, but the lack of confidence to speak. Doors are currently being opened and I simply need to have the strength and courage to walk through them.

    FYI, I like the sign. It’s humorous. I am a fan of metal work so I would like to see that other sign too. It looks cool.

  5. Sam says:

    I am very blessed that I am able to speak about Jesus in all areas and groups in my life. Although I have acquaintances and friends who are non believers and Jews and I tend to thank God for all has has done in my life allot. They still have respect for my and each others religious views and I have never been criticized or condemned for them.

  6. W James Anderson says:

    Such a different world we live in since New Testament times… the mystery of what God wants to do now is what’s on my mind. Truly entering and continuing in His process of salvation. Lately my prayer has been one word…..Jesus. That’s all I can really come up with. Mainly while I’m at work. Thinking about my co workers and desiring that they know Him. That starts with Him drawing them. That is how I speak the name of Jesus mainly. All my co workers know what I’m about and all I want is for them to see for themselves what God is about. I try and find creative quick statements that share how I really feel when it comes to Him. It’s boiled down to 1. There is a God 2. That God has communicated to us 3. That can be verified. I guess it boils down to that. Thanks again Vince for the vids. I noticed the Miller sign is getting more prominent and this vid didn’t slowly zoom in. Is the sign just a spoof about your name or do you partake? I do not. Not such a good moderator. Blessings Miller Man😎

  7. Jack Dellinger says:

    Thank you Vince. God has given you great insight and a talent to reduce your thoughts to paper in a clear and concise form.
    How I feel I can be more effective in sharing Jesus is through small group study of the Bible. The single offensive weapon God has given us is the sword of the Spirit, which I interpret as the Word of God, the Bible.

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