Because of the preaching and the signs performed by the apostles, resulting in more believers being added to the Lord, the high priest was filled with indignation and put them in prison. He could not hold them there. An angel of the Lord opened the doors at night, brought them out, and told them words, to which many people today, would reply, “That’s crazy!” What were they told? “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life” (Acts 5:14-20).
The apostles were to go to the temple and preach the very message that got them imprisoned in the first place. In addition to that—catch this—they were to speak all of the words of this life. Leave nothing out. We know that one can sometimes get by with men if he just tells part of what needs to be said, but that will not get one by with God.
The church is inundated today with so called “gospel preachers” who refuse to preach all of the truth with far less consequences than the apostles would have preaching every word of life. These modern men fit Jesus’ description of the hireling (John 10:12-13). If these preach all of the truth, they reason, someone will be offended. What is worse, they could lose that high paying position with that large congregation that hired them to compromise the truth in the first place. The apostles were told to speak all the words of life, which could have very easily ended up having them put right back in prison where they had been.
Many “preachers” today like to avoid the things the brethren really need. In most congregations today, you aren’t likely to hear a sermon on God’s law of fellowship. You are not likely to hear a warning that, “This congregation shouldn’t fellowship the one in the next town by sending our children to it to participate in a youth event there, because that congregation is the one that started the error of all of life is worship heresy and still holds to that falsehood.”
These men will not preach on certain sins that are rampant in the congregation. If they were to do that, many of the members would leave, and there would not be enough left to contribute sufficiently to pay their salaries. They must be of the mindset that taking a cut in pay is far worse than being thrown in prison.
When Paul called the Ephesian elders to him from Miletus he had much to say to them. One of the points he made was, “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27). One of the reasons it is vital to preach all the counsel of God is that if there is one thing that is left out, it might be the very thing a single member needs to learn and apply to his life to keep him out of the eternal fires of hell.
Any who preach or teach, must be mindful of the angel’s instruction to the apostles, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”