33But when they heard this, they became infuriated and nearly decided to execute them. 34But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. 35And he said to them, “Men of Israel, be careful as to what you are about to do with these men. 36For, some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37After this man, Judas of Galilee appeared in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he also perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. 38And so in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone, for if the source of this plan or movement is men, it will be overthrown; 39but if the source is God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”
40They followed his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. 41So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and preaching the good news of Jesus as the Christ.
33¶ When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. 34Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; 35And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. 36For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. 37After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. 38And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. 40And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41¶ And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. 42And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
Can one reject the gospel and still be a good person? Many, even in the church, would say that one can reject the message of Jesus Christ as Savior and still be good and virtuous. However, in this sermon from Acts 5:33–42 titled “Spiritual Blindness,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows just how wrong this notion really is. The book of Acts shows that all those who rejected the apostles rejected God Himself. Even Gamaliel ultimately rejects the message that the apostles proclaimed. Because the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way anyone can be saved, all who reject it make themselves enemies of God. What does this mean today? It means that all must believe in the gospel to be saved. It means that each and every one that has been confronted with the person and work of Jesus can reject this message and die in their sins, or they can believe and become children of God. One must ask: “Do I trust in Jesus or am I like so many that rest only in what I have done and in my goodness?” Only by believing in Jesus can anyone be saved. This is the message of the apostles and it must also be the message today.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.