Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of June 22, 2008

Acts 4:23 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.

Clare Boothe Luce has said that “no good deed goes unpunished.” Peter and John could testify to the truth of that saying. They had healed a man and as a result they were able to preach the Gospel. God was able to use that message to save at least 5,000 people. Satan, of course, had a bit of a problem with that and used the unbelieving leaders of the nation of Israel to attempt to keep the apostles from preaching. They threw put them in jail and told them to quit it or else. However, Peter and John didn’t think God would want them to quit it so after having been threatened, they went to their “own” and reported what had happened.

Who would we go to if we were persecuted for preaching the Gospel? Would we have those that we would consider our own company or our own companions who would understand what we were doing and the persecution we were suffering? The Bible makes it clear that the church is supposed to be a house of prayer and worship but it is also supposed to be a support group for Christians. That is why the Bible so often speaks of the church being “together” and being unified or in “one accord”.

I hear people say that they can worship the Lord without going to a meeting of the church. And they can. But they cannot find a support group when they don’t have a group that they support. There are many things that we do by ourselves that we can do with so much more power and joy when we do it together.

Recently, I worked with a group of Christians in a park Gospel outreach. Some of us went door-to-door handing out invitations. Some of them sang. Some of us provided hot dogs with baked beans and chips. Some of us preached and some of us gave our testimonies as to how we came to know the Lord. We did together what we could not do well separately. We went away glad that we had our own company with which to share this great work. God could have done this in other ways perhaps because he can raise up children to Abraham from stones (Matthew 3:9). However, because we worked together we were more effective than we would have been separately. While we didn’t experience persecution, we did experience rejection, but we were able to encourage each other because we could go to our own and talk about it.

Our own people or company should not be the unbelieving people in the world. We should have friends there but we should not have the same connection to them that we have with our own. Since we are in the world but not of the world (John 17:11, 16), we should feel like square pegs in round holes in today’s society. We just don’t fit.

Our own are the ones with whom we are going to spend eternity. It only seems fitting that they would be the ones we would seek out in our joys and in our sorrows down here. They should be our support group.

Bruce Collins

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