Day 17: A War Against the Conscience

Acts 4:1-4 :

As they spoke to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came to them, being upset because they taught the people and proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. They laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was now evening. But many of those who heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

If you remember from the Luke study, the Sadducees were the anti-supernaturalists of the day. Today we might call them theistic pragmatists or naturalists. It means that they didn’t believe in miraculous things like resurrections. Evidently, these were also the ones who were in charge of the educational system in the temple because they were pretty “upset because they taught the people” while holding to their supernatural views and were able to get the “captain of the temple” involved in their arrest.

To this very day, Christians all over the world are being imprisoned for telling the truth. I believe that behavior like this reveals that the leadership is actually afraid of the truth. For one thing, admitting to the truth might mean that they would have to admit that they were wrong. It would also mean that they would have to stop enjoying their sin. We know that people have a God-given conscience that tells them they are doing wrong and if they are already fighting their own conscience to do what they do, then they won’t have trouble fighting against others too.

It’s important to notice in this passage that over 5,000 people were converted when the truth was finally taught to the people. When we as Christians shine the light in the darkness, it can expose those who have been using the darkness to maintain their power. Some will realize that the truth holds what they needed to know in order to improve their future and make sense of life, even if it means admitting they were wrong.