Acts: Christ Builds His Church • Sermon • Submitted
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Trouble From the Past
Trouble From the Past
Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.
Jews from Antioch and Iconium came and stirred up the crowd.
Swap from gods to criminals in a moment.
The fickle crowd went from considering them divine to thinking of them as frauds
We see mob mentality on full display.
Emerson called a mob, “a society of bodies voluntarily bereaving themselves of reason.”
This is so often true.
When mob mentality take over, people quit reasoning.
They stoned Paul
Stoning- lit. Fling stones- stone to death.
They did their best to kill him!
Stoned him, and then drug him out of town.
Paul was in bad shape
He appeared dead.
Opposite this, we see the believers who stood by Paul
They were in the minority and very new in the faith.
They could have run away, yet they stayed with him.
Imagine the sorrow that turned to joy when Paul go up!
Then Paul makes a move that impresses me.
He went back into town for the night!
What boldness from the Lord!
The next day, they leave and go to Derbe
Strengthening the Churches
Strengthening the Churches
And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. And after they had passed through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. Now when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
Derbe was a 60 mile journey to the southeast
while there, the gospel bore much fruit
they fulfilled the great comission, which is the mission of every church and every believer within every church
They made many disciples
Many were Converted and I am sure they were baptized and taught.
Then the missionary team returned home, but not by the most direct route.
While they could have gone directly, they retraced their steps.
Notice what they did in each town:
Strengthened the disciples
continued the discipleship process
Helped them grow in their newfound faith
Exhorted them to continue in the faith
warned them of the hardships in this life
encouraged them to remain faithful.
even in the face of hardships
with prayer and fasting
they selected the leaders who would remain behind and continue proclaim Christ and discipling the believers.
Commended them to the Lord
While apart, Paul and Barnabas entrusted them in God’s care.
No better place to be!
From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had completed. Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. So they stayed there a long time with the disciples.
The Missionaries returned to the mother church and shared testimony of what God had accomplished.
Remember how this journey had begun?
Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
The church gathered and rejoiced in God’s gracious provision of salvation to the Gentiles.
This would have been an amazing missionary report to attend!
Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch for a long time.
The first journey had taken about a year, and the wording here and elsewhere suggests a year in their home church.
We can probably deduce they spent the year resting and getting recharged for their next journey.
From all we know of Paul, spreading the gospel and planting more churches couldn’t have been far from his mind.
This morning, I want us to apply a few lessons from the ending of the first journey.
1. Choose your crowd carefully!
Mob or church?
The very converts from this 1st journey, would be troubled by judiazers who came in to pervert the gospel.
Galatians was written to counter that.
We must always guard against jumping into a mob.
No, I don’t mean pitchforks and torches
I mean ganging up and oppressing others
Beating up the oppostiiton verbally and spiritually..
If we are grounded in the word and walking in the Spirit, we will be shielded from the rule of the mob.
2. Stand firm even when facing opposition.
See in your minds eye, Paul, beaten and bloodied getting up, going back into town!
Do you have that level of commitment?
Stand up and stand firm!
Keep serving God!
Keep proclaiming His word
Keep pressing forward
We must never cower down when Satan brings opposition our way.
Remember what Jesus said?
“The gates of hell SHALL NOT prevail against the church!”
3. Strengthen your church
reach out and help them grow in the Lord
Help them obey all Christ commanded us.