Acts 26: “Paul, you almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
All the nonsense playing out in American culture right now (Critical Race Theory, BLM, Defund Police) is intentional, to keep us in a constant state of fear of being labeled a racist while diverting our attention away from the foundational truths that formed our nation. If we do not stand up for our values and refuse to be labeled as racists by the Left, they will continue unchecked in their effort to destroy the America we love.
The Left is also succeeding in another area – hiding key anniversaries that celebrate our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage. Last week, we looked at the 500-year anniversary of Luther’s stand for the gospel that launched Evangelical Christianity. This week, we celebrate the 246-year anniversary of the ride of “Son of Liberty” Paul Revere as American patriots stood boldly against King George and for Jesus Christ.
Patrick Leehey (Research Director at Boston’s Paul Revere House) documents events surrounding Paul Revere’s midnight ride: “On the evening of April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren informed Revere that British troops were ready to march to Concord, MA, to capture or destroy military stores, and the troops would stop in Lexington, to the house where Samuel Adams and John Hancock were staying, and arrest them for treason against England. Dr. Warren asked Revere to go to Lexington and warn Adams and Hancock.
As Revere approached the house, the guard requested he not make so much noise. ‘Noise!’ cried Revere, ‘You’ll have noise enough before long. The regulars are coming!’ John Hancock heard his voice and said ‘Come in, Revere! We are not afraid of you’.” The house belonged to Reverend Jonas Clarke. That same day, British General Gage had announced to the colonists that if they would lay down their arms, all would be forgiven, except for Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who were the instigators.
The very next morning British Major Pitcairn shouted to an assembled regiment of Minutemen; “Disperse, ye villains, lay down your arms in the name of George the Sovereign King of England.” Reverend Clarke responded with what is known as the Battle Cry of the American Revolution: “We recognize no Sovereign but God and no King but Jesus.” Reverend Clarke became the leader of the militia in Lexington.
This was not anything new for early Americans. The Christian doctrine of the sovereignty of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ was the conviction of early America before and during the American Revolution. Patrick Henry had declared: “It can’t be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians: not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
In January 1773, it was proclaimed that “Death is more eligible than slavery. A free-born people are not required by the religion of Jesus Christ to submit to tyranny” (from “The Light and the Glory” by Peter Marshall and David Manuel). Historian David Barton, in his writing “The Myth of Separation”, documents that one of England’s appointed governors wrote back to England saying: “If you ask an American, who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ.” This is America’s rich history.
We all stand on the shoulders of these giants. Which leads us to our verse this week, where the apostle Paul confronts King Agrippa in Acts chapter 26. Paul, brought before the king to account for his leading role in this new movement known as “The Way”, explains to the king how Jesus Christ chose Paul to share the His gospel, to “open the eyes of Jews and Gentiles… that they might receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among those who are set apart by placing their faith in Me” (Acts 26:18).
Paul boldly tells the king that “I was not disobedient to this heavenly vision, but declared to all that they should repent, turn to God, and do works worthy of repentance…to this day I stand, witnessing to small and great, that Christ would suffer, rise from the dead, and proclaim light to Jews and Gentiles.”
Paul’s boldness leads to his next step – to appeal to the king with the something that cannot be refuted – facts: “I speak the words of truth and reason; the King knows these things… since they were not done in a corner.’ The king’s response? ‘Agrippa said, ‘You almost persuade me to become a Christian.’”
The testimonies of Paul the apostle, the German monk Martin Luther, the Boston pastor Jonas Clarke, the Sons of Liberty Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, all ring through history with one clear message for us today as Americans: we are a nation founded on the Lordship of Jesus Christ. What about your testimony? Are you boldly refuting Leftist nonsense with the gospel’s “truth and reason”?
The Evidence of Faith’s Substance – Article #446