We have been studying the whole armor of God on Wednesday nights. To date, we have discussed the helmet of salvation, which protects us from carnality, fear and pride. The breastplate of righteousness protects us from unrighteousness and sin. The girdle of truth protects us against the lies of the devil. The shield of faith protects us from unbelief. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, protects us from error and false doctrine. The greaves of prayer protect us against temptation, fear and discouragement. Tonight we are going to discuss the last piece of armor, the gospel of peace.
Your feet should be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. The gospel of peace protects us against extinction. We are saved because someone else preached the gospel to us. Therefore, we must stay in the fight and preach the gospel to others.
When the priests, the captain of the temple and the Sadducees saw the apostles speaking to the people in Acts 4:1-2, they were “grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” There were five thousand men who heard the word and believed [Acts 4:4]. So, the rulers, elders and scribes [Acts 4:5] threatened them, that they should “speak henceforth to no man in this name (Jesus Christ),” [Acts 4:17]. Acts 4:19-20 says, “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” They wouldn’t quit preaching the gospel.
So, in Acts 5:17-18, the high priest had them arrested and “put them in the common prison.” But in Acts 5:19-20, “the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” And they did. Whereupon the captain with the officers brought them to the high priest who said, “Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name,” [Acts 5:26-28]? In Acts 5:29, Peter and the other apostles replied, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” In Acts 5:32 they said, “… we are his witnesses.” After hearing the apostles testify, Gamaliel said to the council, “if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it: lest haply ye be found even to fight against God,” [Acts 5:39].
Even when Saul “persecuted the church of God, and wasted it,” [Gal 1:13] and “made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison,” [Acts 8:3], and they “were scattered abroad,” [Acts 8:4], they “went every where preaching the word.” They didn’t quit. When Paul got saved and began preaching the gospel, he faced every possible deterrent to make him quit preaching the gospel [2 Cor 11:23-28]. But he never quit. As a matter of fact, his testimony encouraged many of the brethren to be “much more bold to speak the word without fear,” [Phil 1:12, 14]. They wouldn’t quit.
So, how can we quit? We cannot. We aren’t facing the hardships that these men and women faced. We don’t suffer the persecution they faced. The devil has found a clever way to “attack” Christians through prosperity and complacency. It’s like we have disarmed God’s military. We have become entangled with the affairs of this life [2 Tim 2:3-4].
Like Gamaliel said, this is God’s fight and the enemy cannot overthrow it. So, get in the fight and arm yourself. Don’t go out without your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. There is a war going on out there for the souls of men and we must stay in the fight to win them.