We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard – Acts 4:20
For many cushioned and coddled Christians today, it is all too easy not to speak about the gospel truths which we have seen and heard. Far too often, we bury the gospel light we have been given under a basket full of excuses and justifications.
But this was not the testimony of the apostles. Having seen the risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ themselves, having learned at his feet, and having received his charge to go and baptize and teach in his name, they had no option or inclination but to proclaim the gospel truth they had learned and experienced.
Notice especially the context of their bold declaration. The Jewish authorities had just threatened them and commanded them not to speak any more in the name of Jesus. The apostles could have compromised the glory of Christ and settled for a philanthropic, people-pleasing message. But instead they declared their irrevocable determination to “be right in the sight of God” and continue to publish the truth concerning Jesus Christ.
The compelling motivation that is expressed by these faithful disciples should force us to ask this question of ourselves: if we are so easily silenced in our gospel witness, have we truly seen and heard the same thing the apostles did? Is Jesus Christ a living, breathing, teaching reality to us?
Those who have seen and heard the resurrected Christ are clearly and helplessly consumed by the experience. They cannot help but speak of the things they have seen and heard.