Worship sermon

Tokyo Calvary Church Sermon Pastor Ryo Kasama October 2, 2022
"The real thing remains" Acts of the Apostles Chapter 5 verses 33-42

"Nowadays, there are various communication tools, so I don't use mobile emails very often, but spam emails come in almost every day." Rather than calling it spam, it's more of a fraudulent email, but since it's sent in large quantities to an email address that disappears quickly, it's unlikely that it will ever disappear.
Most of the writing is bogus, but sometimes clever things get mixed in." In such a case, the easiest way to find out is to copy the text and search the Internet as it is. Otherwise, if you're not sure if it's genuine, it's best to leave it alone for a while. If it's a scam, I won't come back. If it's real, wait a while and come back again.
"Time is the easiest way to find out if something is genuine or fake." If it's real, it stays; if it's fake, it disappears. The problem is that we don't know how long it will take, but at least what we need is that Christianity still shines after 2,000 years. I think it's pretty clear.
A wise person knows well the importance of taking time. Wisdom may be the ability to distinguish between things that are urgent and things that are not.
"Today's scripture is a continuation from last week." Peter and the other apostles are on trial in the Supreme Court.
The presiding judge is the high priest who was the highest authority in the temple at that time, so it is Caiaphas who judged Jesus. The fate of the apostles depended on his judgment. In the opening verse 33, it says, "Those who heard this became very angry and thought of killing the apostles." At this rate, the apostles under Peter were really about to be put to death, but then a person named Gamaliel stood up.
Gamaliel is mentioned here for the first time, and in verse 34 he is described as "a teacher of the law respected by all the people, belonging to the Pharisee sect." This trial is occupied by Sadducees, so it is unusual to see a Pharisee here.
"I'll digress a little, but I'll explain a little about the differences between the Sadducees and the Pharisees." Judaism is centered around the Temple in Jerusalem. All the priests who work in the temple are Sadducees. Those associated with the temple whose purpose is to perform the ordinances without delay. On the other hand, the Pharisee sect has arisen from the faith awakening movement that started in the private sector. It is natural to cherish the temple, but it is thought that this alone is not enough, and it started with a movement to cherish the law commanded by God, and it has spread widely among the people. The Sadducees are the ruling class of the temple, while the Pharisees are a private movement. Naturally, it is the Pharisee faction that is gaining the support of the civilian population, and it seems that Gamaliel, who can be said to be their representative, would lose the support of the people, so he joined here. This man is believed to be the same man Paul refers to as his teacher in Acts 22:3. I think he is a very intelligent and popular person.
The words he said are spoken after the 35th verse. It lists two people who actually started or tried to start a rebellion. In verse 36 there is a person named Theudas, and in verse 37 a person named Judas of Galilee. These two people are not mentioned in other documents, so they are mysterious people, but in fact, people who say this are not so rare at that time, so you can understand how difficult it was for Jews at that time. , You can see that the temple was tense because of that. Because there were many groups that could be dangerous if left alone, it was common sense at the time to get rid of them before they started a rebellion.
But Gamaliel said the exact opposite. In verse thirty-eight he says, "Get out of them. Leave them alone."
"I had two thoughts about this." For one thing, Gamaliel knows that people in the Christian church actually work miracles, and their only purpose is to preach Jesus and complain about the current political system. or knew that he did not intend to revolt. Because he knew he wasn't a dangerous group to riot.
And secondly, he said he needed more time to determine if the Christian church was real. The words from the second half of verse 38 say, "If those plans and actions are of man, they will perish; if they are of God, they cannot be destroyed. You may become a rebel.” Gamaliel can't judge it at the moment, but if it's really from God, God will protect it and it will remain. And if it is suppressed, there is a danger that Judaism will turn against God.
As a believer in God, I considered the possibility that what I thought was good for God would betray God. It is the result of thinking about the reality that miracles are actually happening and what many people believe.
"It is very difficult to determine whether their teachings are from God." It is too light of God to make quick judgments like the Sadducees and suppress those who do not agree with them. So he suggested using time for judgment. It doesn't mean to leave it alone. If they start a riot or agitate the populace against the temple, then there is still time to deal with it. Now, more than that, we should give priority to hearing God's voice. Hearing the voice of God means to determine how Christianity will develop.
As I said at the beginning, time is very important because there are few judgmental materials for listening to God's voice. Gamaliel seems to have understood this very well.
His speech calmed the people there and changed the verdict significantly. In verse 40, it says, "He called the apostles in and flogged them, commanded them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and set them free." Although he was punished with flogging and threatened as a crime of incitement, it is said that he was able to continue preaching as before.
And the result is clear from the fact that evangelism is still taking place around the world. Even without this decision, Christianity would have continued without a doubt, but we should think that Christianity spread throughout the world quickly thanks to the help of this wise decision.
This page is translated from Japanese by google translation.


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