Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

 

I.         Allen Webster tells the following story,

            A.        “The municipal auditorium was full. The speech by the noted atheist was powerful. After a bombardment of the Bible, there came a moment of choice. If you still believed in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, stand up and be counted. The silence was overwhelming. Surely someone would stand. Then toward the back of the room, two young girls stood and with tears in their eyes and a quiver in their voices, began to sing, “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus.” Within a few moments the entire auditorium was echoing Christ’s name because there were two who dared to stand up and be counted.”

            B.        When we talk about confession, we do not refer to a one time action that must be done before we can be baptized.

                        1.         We must defend Jesus before a world that denies Him.

                        2.         Mt. 10:32-33 - If we deny Him, He will deny us.

                        3.         Paul was prepare to defend the faith - Phil. 1:17

                        4.         Jude said to contend for the faith - Jude 3

                        5.         Peter said to be ready to answer - I Pet. 3:15

            C.        All this requires courage

II.        A Queen’s Courage

            A.        The book of Esther tells of a Jewish girl who marries King Ahasuerus, thus becoming Queen of Persia.

                        1.         She was called to make a stand for her people. A decree was issued by Ahasuerus at the suggestion of his Prime Minister, Haman, that would allow Haman to destroy all the Jews and take their possessions.

                                    a.         Mordecai, an officer in the king’s court and former guardian of Esther, learned of the decree and encouraged Esther to go before the king to plead for the Jews.

                                    b.         According to Persian law, if a person went uninvited before the king’s throne, he could be executed. This includes the queen.

                                    c.         Nevertheless, Esther took the chance of not being invited by the king to save her people.

                                    d.         Mordecai encouraged her - Est. 4:14 and she agreed Est. 4:15-16

                                    e.         She appeared before the king and the king acknowledged her by raising her scepter, thus sparing her. She invited the king and Haman to a banquet.

                                    f.         During the banquet, she made a formal plea to save her people and also exposed Haman’s wicked conspiracy.

                        2.         In the end, the Jews were granted the right to defend themselves. The Jews were successful, Haman was killed, and the nation was saved.

            B.        We need voices lifted against the wicked “Hamans” of our world.

                        1.         Who knows if whether you are come to this place for just such a time as this?

                        2.         God can use you to make a difference in your family, your workplace, your congregation, your school, your community, and your friends.

                        3.         But you have to have the courage to go before others, to raise up your voice, and put your reputation on the line.

                        4.         You can’t always follow the crowd. “He who walks in another’s tracks leaves no footprints.”

III.       A Spy’s Courage

            A.        Joshua was one of the world’s greatest military leaders.

                        1.         In his younger years he was a spy.

                                    a.         Returning from a mission in Canaan, only he and an older man named Caleb had faith to believe the Israelites could conquer Canaan.

                                    b.         In front of an angry crowd, they declared they could take the land (Num. 13, 14). They stood alone, but they stood firm.

                        2.         Later, he lead the Israelites in conquering Canaan.

                                    a.         The first and greatest battle was at Jericho - Josh. 6

                                    b.         Because they trusted God’s “foolish” plan, they won a tremendous victory.

                                                (1)       Perhaps they looked silly marching around the city, once a day for six days.

                                                (2)       Imagine the insults hurled from the walls: “What’s the matter? Too chicken to storm the walls?”

                                                (3)       On day seven, they marched around seven times, blew their trumpets and yelled. The people of Jericho must have been really laughing now.

                                                (4)       Then the walls started shaking and rocks started falling and the walls came tumbling down. (The laughing stopped about here.)

                                                (5)       Israel stormed the city, destroyed everyone except Rahab and her family.

            B.        To stand up for Jesus, we may have to stand out.

                        1.         We may look silly to those around us

                                    a.         We won’t dress in worldly fashions - I Tim. 2:9

                                    b.         We won’t laugh at their dirty jokes - Eph. 5:4, Col. 3:8

                                    c.         We won’t go to their bars and dances - Prov. 20:1; Gal. 5:19-21

                                    d.         We won’t cheat on tests or on our income tax forms - Rom 12:17

                                    e.         We won’t watch their filthy entertainment - I Pet. 2:11; Matt. 5:27-28

                        2.         They may think us odd. They may hurl insults at us. But the seventh day is coming! The victory is assured, for God always wins. We just have to remain on the winning team.

IV.      A Deacon’s Courage

            A.        Stephen was one of seven deacons appointed to look after the daily care of the poor widows in the church. - Acts 6:1-6

                        1.         He was full of faith and of the Holy Spirit - Acts 6:5

                        2.         Undoubtedly, he was well liked due to his work with the poor, but he had some strong opinions.

            B.        Stephen stood up for Jesus in the synagogue.

                        1.         When the Jews could nto refute his defense of Jesus, they hired men to misrepresent his character.

                        2.         At his trial, Stephen made a ringing defense of Christianity - Acts 7

                        3.         The Jews became angry - Acts 7:57-58

                        4.         Stephen stood boldly until his dying breath. He dies asking the Lord, “Lay not this sin to their charge” - Acts 7:60

            C.        Would we be willing to die for what we believe?

                        1.         Is worshipping according to the New Testament pattern that important to us?

                                    a.         Would we stand quietly by while others alter the worship?

                                    b.         Or would we stand against it? - Rev. 22:18-19

                        2.         The law of Christianity never commands us to play an instrument in worship. - Col. 3:17

                                    a.         If someone brought one in, would we oppose the addition?

                        3.         If a woman got up to lead a pray in the assembly or to wait on the Lord’s Table (I Cor. 14:34, I Tim. 2:11-14), would we take a stand against it?

            D.        If people violate God’s Will, then they sin.

                        1.         If we allow it to take place without opposition, then we have sinned too. Rom. 1:32

V.        Will you stand up for Jesus now? In the end He will stand up for you.