Key Principle #2: WITNESS (part 3)
Don’t Let Opposition From The Accuser keep you from witnessing
Thirdly, don’t let adversity and opposition stop you from witnessing. Acts. 1:21 says “Let another take his office.” That word office is episkopen or sometimes translated as bishop or overseer. Peter used this word of position for what Judas held. Judas had a position of leadership, as did all of the apostles, and when his position was open, Peter found a Scripture which stated it should to be filled.
If you read Psalm 109, you’ll quickly see Peter was studying Psalms. Read verse 3, “They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause. In return for my love they are my accusers but I give myself to prayer thus they have rewarded me evil for good and hatred for my love.”
Peter had heard Jesus use this same Psalm 109 on the night He was betrayed. John 15:25 ("But this comes to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, 'They hated me without a cause'") proves it is a Messianic Psalm; that is, parts of this passage, written a thousand years previously, was a prophecy about Christ and also about Judas. So here in Acts, Peter quoted the same Psalm which Jesus referred to on the night Judas betrayed Christ. That prophecy said that Jesus would be hated without a cause. So Peter undoubtedly read on in the Psalms to see what else might be prophetic. He didn't have to look far. In Psalm 109:6, it reads, “Set a wicked man over him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand.” That word accuser is the word also translated as Satan. Jesus said that he had chosen 12 disciples, but one of them was a devil. John recorded that Jesus knew from the beginning that Jesus was going to betray Him. And Jesus said that Satan had filled Judas’ heart.
That’s the way the devil works. Satan will tempt you to fall and then when you fall, he’ll accuse you of not being good enough for God and fill you with guilt and feelings of worthlessness. When Satan was through with Judas, he left him with nothing but guilt and remorse. And if we are not careful, the devil will do the same with us and effectively steal our witness.
In Psalm 109: 8, the Psalmist, likely King David, prophetically said that Judas’ days would be few and so they were and that after his death, “let another take his office.” Judas’ days were few, with his final days overwhelmed with guilt and the accusation of Satan. Judas walked with Christ for three and a half years, was called a disciple and part of the inner twelve. Meanwhile, that same night, a thief on the cross simply called out to Jesus and said “Remember me when you come into Your Kingdom.”
Both Judas and the repentant thief on the cross entered death’s dark domain that evening. Judas, who had been with Christ in life, was separated from Him for all eternity in death. The other, the thief on the cross who asked Christ to merely remember him, had lived separated from Christ in almost all of his life. But in the final fleeting moments of this existence, the thief did what Judas did not and would not do. He called upon all of God's mercy and is forever in heaven with our Lord.
What a great testimony: we should never allow anything, including opposition, to stop us from sharing a witness to the gospel. By faith alone, a life-long thief can have eternity and without faith, a man by all outward appearances to be an upstanding Christian disciple, lost his soul.
Look down Psalm 109:30, “I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; Yes, I will praise Him among the multitude.” In just a few days, Peter would do exactly that. He who was too terrified to testify and stand up to a little servant girl, would soon lead 3,000 people to Christ.
Don’t let excuses, failures or adversity stop you from witnessing.