The other day, one of my four kids got in trouble with something that they had previously done in the past and when caught, they gave me the puppy dog eyes & crocodile tears while saying “I can’t but help to do that.” I’m reminded of that incident reading Acts 4:1-22. Peter, John and the rest of the early church are just in the beginning stages of persecution. Armed with the Holy Spirit & the Great Commission, they’re really trying to figure all of this stuff out while being faithful to their Lord Jesus Christ.
That we know of, this was one of the first arrests of the early church after Pentecost. It says in verse 2 that they were annoying people because of their teaching of the resurrection. Of course, John and Peter just look at it as another opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the council who arrested them were amazed at their knowledge and passion because they were just common, uneducated people. However, this leads to my original story in the beginning. After being threatened again to quit sharing this “annoying” message of good news of salvation for all people, Peter and John respond by saying “Sorry, but we can’t but help to share of what we’ve seen and heard” (v. 20). I can’t but help to share this Gospel message. No matter the consequence, the threat, the danger… I have to share this still.” This wasn’t a struggle or excuse like my discipline situation with a child but a truth out of love and awe bubbling over their hearts and lives. They knew the urgency and ramifications of this truth and they couldn’t keep it to themselves. The exact opposite of the all so common saying today, “I just keep my faith more private.”
What if we had this same heart and attitude with the Gospel message? That we can’t but help to share it with others? That it wasn’t a source of fear or we quit making excuses about why we are not sharing it. We can’t but help to!
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor