Acts 14;Preaching Among The Heathen


I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Acts of the Apostles Chapter 18.

This chapter is based on Acts 14:1-26.

But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus. John 12:10-11.

 

I remember as a young boy going to see the Harlem Globtrotters. No matter how hard their arch rivals the Washington Generals tried to beat them they never could. The globtrotters won over 12,000 straight games against them. It’s the same with the Jesus and the devil. No matter how hard Satan tries he just can’t win for losing. For example Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead which was a big blow to Satan’s campaign. So what does he do? He tries to get the leaders to kill Lazarus now. Really? Like Jesus isn’t going to just turn around and raise him to life again and make an even more amazing miracle.

In Romans 8:28 Paul says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.” Christians can’t lose!

Those who stand on the side of truth can only win. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.  2 Corinthians 13:8

 

The chapter Preaching Among the Heathen, talks about the victories of God’s people amidst great opposition.

From Antioch in Pisidia, Paul and Barnabas went to Iconium. In this place, as at Antioch, they began their labors in the synagogue of their own people. They met with marked success; “a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.” But in Iconium, as in other places where the apostles labored, “the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.”  {AA 177.1} 

     The apostles, however, were not turned aside from their mission, for many were accepting the gospel of Christ. In the face of opposition, envy, and prejudice they went on with their work, “speaking boldly in the Lord,” and God “gave testimony unto the word of His grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” These evidences of divine approval had a powerful influence on those whose minds were open to conviction, and converts to the gospel multiplied.

The increasing popularity of the message borne by the apostles, filled the unbelieving Jews with envy and hatred, and they determined to stop the labors of Paul and Barnabas at once. By means of false and exaggerated reports they led the authorities to fear that the entire city was in danger of being incited to insurrection. They declared that large numbers were attaching themselves to the apostles and suggested that it was for secret and dangerous designs.  {AA 178.1} 

     In consequence of these charges the disciples were repeatedly brought before the authorities; but their defense was so clear and sensible, and their statement of what they were teaching so calm and comprehensive, that a strong influence was exerted in their favor. Although the magistrates were prejudiced against them by the false statements they had heard, they dared not condemn them. They could but acknowledge that the teachings of Paul and Barnabas tended to make men virtuous, law-abiding citizens, and that the morals and order of the city would improve if the truths taught by the apostles were accepted.  {AA 178.2} 

 

  In every age and in every land, God’s messengers have been called upon to meet bitter opposition from those who deliberately chose to reject the light of heaven. Often, by misrepresentation and falsehood, the enemies of the gospel have seemingly triumphed, closing the doors by which God’s messengers might gain access to the people. But these doors cannot remain forever closed, and often, as God’s servants have returned after a time to resume their labors, the Lord has wrought mightily in their behalf, enabling them to establish memorials to the glory of His name.  {AA 179.2} 

 

The labors of Paul and Barnabas at Lystra were suddenly checked by the malice of “certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium,” who, upon learning of the success of the apostles’ work among the Lycaonians, had determined to follow them and persecute them. On arriving at Lystra, these Jews soon succeeded in inspiring the people with the same bitterness of spirit that actuated their own minds. By words of misrepresentation and calumny those who had recently regarded Paul and Barnabas as divine beings were persuaded that in reality the apostles were worse than murderers and were deserving of death.  {AA 183.1} 

     The disappointment that the Lystrians had suffered in being refused the privilege of offering sacrifice to the apostles, prepared them to turn against Paul and Barnabas with an enthusiasm approaching that with which they had hailed them as gods. Incited by the Jews, they planned to attack the apostles by force. The Jews charged them not to allow Paul an opportunity to speak, alleging that if they were to grant him this privilege, he would bewitch the people.  {AA 183.2} 

 

You may find more studies and devotionals at In Light of The Cross.

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