Radical Christians – from Sunday 30th August 2020.In the early life of the church way back in the 1st century, when everything regarding church was a new discovery, we find in some of their experience what it was to be radical in terms of faith. In Acts 3:6-7 we read where Peter says, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.”Can I suggest to you that Radical Christians believe that Jesus is alive and has the power to heal!!! They believe in the name of Jesus! They believe in miracles!Play it safe Christians never put their faith on the line! Following Jesus is the ultimate adventure, but until you are ready to have your faith tested you won’t know what its like!
A second experience that the apostles and disciples went through. The Jewish religious leaders are furious that the Disciples are using Jesus’ name to heal a lame man, so they arrest them. Should the Disciples try to appease them, find a middle way? Acts 4:18-19 say: “Then they called Peter and John in and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!”Can I suggest to you that Jesus did not back down from the Jewish rulers when they put Him on trial and neither do His Disciples!Radical Christians are not afraid to speak about Jesus and they do not back down when people make fun of them, or worse!Speak up for what you believe. Be proud to be a follower of Jesus! He has promised to be with you in the power of His Spirit.
The final experience that I would mention for now is in Acts 5:40-42. We read there: “The others accepted his advice. They called in the apostles and had them flogged. Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go. The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah.””Put simply, following Jesus is not for wimps. Yes, that is my third suggestion for you – Jesus is not for wimps, and following Jesus does not mean that we are poor downtrodden people who have nothing to stand for.
Whether it’s compassion, social action, standing up for justice, or sharing the good news that Jesus is alive, courage is required!!! And courage is always rewarded!There is no comfort zone with Jesus, there’s no half measures, you’re fully in or you’re not in at all! This is a radical movement which has transformed people and society for almost 2000 years. Today, more than ever before Jesus is calling radical believers to follow Him! It’s time to make a difference! It continues to be time to be different!!!
Rev Charles Finnie