“And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18).”
After the resurrection, the disciples preached throughout Jerusalem sharing the good news with many. Thousands were being saved, and the power of God was being displayed. However, there were those who were grieved at the message and wanted to censor the word. The priests, Sadducees and leaders especially did not want to hear about Jesus and the resurrection. They tried everything they could do including physical violence to stop the ministry. Still, the disciples continued to preach as they were authorized by God. As the Church, we also need to let our lights shine and not be intimidated by others.
Censorship is the civil rights issue of our day. Recently we witnessed Cubans protesting against their brutal communist government. As they cried for freedom, their access to the internet was removed in an attempt to stop the protest. Interestingly, we see some of the same oppressive tactics happening in America. We have also witnessed many Christians, conservatives and other groups being censored or penalized by Big Tech Groups and government agencies. The same hatred and violence seen in the book of Acts is still present today.
The Church has been commissioned by God to preach his gospel as recorded in Mark 16:15: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Our forefathers also understood that our rights and liberties come from God as they enshrined this message in our constitution. No one has the right or authority to silence us. We can follow the example of the apostles. Although they were told to stop preaching in the name of Jesus, they faithfully continued to obey God. As a result, the Lord was with them and they could not be stopped. God will also be with us and move mightily as we follow him.