Standing for the Truth

Error message

  • Deprecated function: unserialize(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($data) of type string is deprecated in css_injector_init() (line 53 of /home/krwester/
  • Deprecated function: unserialize(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($data) of type string is deprecated in css_injector_init() (line 53 of /home/krwester/
(Acts 5, 2 Timothy 2, Revelation 3)
Lesson Number: 

Lesson 4 Standing for the Truth

(Acts 5, 2 Timothy 2, Revelation 3)

Copr. 2024, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: Are you afraid to acknowledge your Christian beliefs at work or in public? To my knowledge, no one in the United States has recently been killed for being a Christian. Generally, terrible situations like that exist outside North America. Because I teach Labor Law, I know that “industrial capital punishment” refers to being fired from your job. Are people in the United States being fired because of their Christian faith? Absolutely! A case is going on right now where a Christian was fired because he wrote that it was an “abomination” for the homosexual lobby to highjack the rainbow, God’s symbol that He will never again destroy the world with water. The employee did not realize his statement would be seen by other employees. Situations like that make Christians in my country worry about standing up for the truth. What does the Bible say about standing up for truth and how we should go about it? Let’s dive into our study and learn more!

  1. Authorized Speech
    1. Read Acts 5:16-18. What motivated the arrest of the disciples? (The religious leaders were jealous of the power of the Holy Spirit to heal. They were losing their influence over the people.)
    1. Read Acts 5:19-20. Who has specifically instructed the disciples to teach about Jesus in the temple? (The angel who rescued them from prison.)
      1. This raises the first issue about evangelizing others at work. Are we asked by God to share the gospel at work?
        1. Why are you on your employer’s property? (You are there to work. If you were not there to work you would be trespassing.)
        1. Is it honest to take the time you are being paid to work to use it to evangelize? (I think we should evangelize on our own time. This assumes you are not being paid to evangelize.)
      1. The law about employee free speech generally developed around the question of employees using work time to lobby for labor unions. Do you know what rules about speech resulted from employee versus employer time at work? (Employees are can legally share their views with other employees during break times.)
    1. Read Matthew 10:5-7. Who has authorized the disciples to share the good news about Jesus? (Jesus Himself!)
    1. Read Matthew 10:14. What important principle does Jesus share with His disciples? (Do not harass anyone with the gospel. If they will not listen to you, leave the matter to God.)
      1. Do you think this rule applies in the workplace? (I do. Most of the religious liberty litigation involving evangelizing in the workplace arises from the claim that other employees are being “harassed.” Following Jesus’ rule should protect you from harassment charges.)
    1. Let’s get back to our story in Acts 5. Read Acts 5:25-28. Is teaching about Jesus in the temple like teaching about Jesus at work?
    1. Read Acts 5:29. Is this answer the correct one for evangelizing at work? (My answer is, “No.” The disciples were not employed by the religious leaders. The disciples were on their own time and were in a public religious setting. They had been specifically commanded by the angel to share about Jesus in that specific place.)
    1. Read Acts 5:40-42. Will you be safe from punishment if you share the gospel?
      1. How did the disciples view this punishment?
  1. Wisdom in Sharing
    1. In the two stories we just discussed, the disciples were given a specific directive to share. Our discussion about limited sharing at work raises the question about common sense. Let’s continue that topic by reading 2 Timothy 2:1-3. What is Timothy being told to do? (He is given directions to instruct teachers of the gospel.)
      1. Will sharing always be easy? (One again we are told that sharing may bring suffering.)
    1. Read 2 Timothy 2:4-7. Paul makes three specific points to Timothy about teaching and then asks Timothy to do what? (To contemplate those points. Let’s do just that!)
    1. Re-read 2 Timothy 2:4. How would you apply this advice to sharing the gospel? (Don’t get off-topic. If you are sharing the gospel, be sure you stick to the religious issues and not get into other disputes.)
      1. You may be thinking, “Bruce, you should listen to this Biblical advice. Your studies stray into politics. For example, you referred to the rainbow flag in the introduction.” While this is a good caution for me, ask yourself whether a discussion about the Bible which does not seek to apply truth to current affairs is of any practical value?
    1. Re-read 2 Timothy 2:5. What rules apply to Christian witnessing as opposed to the rules of an athletic contest? (The rules that come to mind are the teachings of the Bible. Be sure that your evangelism is based on the Bible.)
    1. Read 1 Peter 3:15-16. What other rules about sharing come to mind? (The second rule is something lawyers call “professionalism.” Be respectful, kind, and careful about how you share the gospel.)
      1. What is the practical reason for this? (If you are not treated professionally, this will put the other side to shame.)
    1. Re-read Timothy 2:6. What rule for Christian witnessing do we find here? (Don’t be lazy! Strive for excellence.)y
    1. Read 2 Timothy 2:8. What fundamental point about sharing do you find in this verse? (We must not lose sight of the most compelling argument - Jesus died on our behalf and has risen from the grave!)
    1. Read Psalms 19:7. Are you concerned that you are not smart enough to do a great job of sharing the gospel? (This tells us that sticking to the teachings of the Bible will make us look wise, even if we are simple. Everyone can share.)
  1. Passing From Death to Life
    1. Read John 5:24. What happens to the person who believes your gospel message? (They pass from death to life.)
      1. When does that happen? Is the text referring to the future? (If you read the following verses (John 5:25-29) they refer to a future event. But I don’t think that is true for verse 24. Upon accepting Jesus as your Savior you presently pass from death to life.)
      1. How do you understand the statement that those who pass from death to life do “not come into judgment?” (Read Romans 8:1. This says those in Jesus do not come into “condemnation.”)
    1. Read Revelation 20:11-15. How many books of judgment are opened? (The Bible does not say.)
      1. How many books of life are referenced? (Only one.)
      1. Why do you think there is only one book of life and an unstated number of books of judgment? (Revelation 20:15 refers to names being written in the book of life. According to Revelation 20:12, the books dealing with judgment record deeds. “What they had done,” as recorded in the books of judgment, is the basis for the verdict on their life. Recording deeds takes more space than recording names.)
      1. What is the verdict for those whose deeds are the basis for their judgment? (Death. According to Revelation 20:15 they are thrown into the lake of fire.)
    1. Look again at John 5:24. Does the idea that you will not be judged make more sense to you when you learn about the book of life?
    1. Let’s look at another aspect of the book of life. Read Revelation 17:8. When is your name written in the book of life? (“From the foundation of the world.”)
      1. Is everyone saved? Or has God predestined certain people to be saved? (John 5:24 indicates that not all will be saved. It also tells us that salvation is a personal choice. That precludes predestination.)
      1. How do you understand your name being written in the book of life before you were born, and the John 5:24 statement about passing from death to life? (God gives us all the presumption of salvation. That presumption is subject to our choice of eternal life.)
    1. Read Revelation 3:5. Can our name be blotted out of the book of life? (Yes.)
      1. Under what circumstance would your name be blotted out? (Your failure to put on the white garment. See Matthew 22:1-14. When we make the decision referred to in John 5:24 we receive the wedding garment. We pass from death to life because that white robe of righteousness means that Jesus will never blot our name from the book of life.)
    1. Friend, we started out talking about the risk of sharing the gospel. We then moved to the rules about sharing, and we ended with the life-changing blessing of hearing the gospel. Will you wisely share?
  1. Next week: Faith Against All Odds.