But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail, and brought them out. Then he told them, “Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life!” (Acts 5:19-20 NLT)
The apostles weren’t sent into the city streets, though the Good News certainly was needed there. The angel sent them to the Temple, where the Kingdom of God had been pushed aside to maintain the interests of an institution struggling to survive.
In the apostle’s era, the message of life for apostate Israel was “Jesus is the Messiah.” (v.42) God had sent his long-promised Anointed One, and the elites roused the rabble to murder him. The Kingdom could not be allowed to interfere with preserving the status quo.
In our apostate age, the message of life also needs to be proclaimed in our temples — perhaps even more than in the streets. Church people vastly outnumber disciples. The majority of people in our temples are church people living the empty life. They need to hear the message of abundant life disciples experience as they live in the Kingdom.
Our worst disobedience to the Lord is our failure to make disciples. If we were making disciples, obedience to the other commands of Christ would fall into place.
Our religious elites market programs in a desperate attempt to stave off decline and rebuild the status quo. Disciples must go to the temple and give church people the message of life.