In Acts 14, we continue studying the missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas as they travel from city to city, preaching God’s Word.
You may recall in Acts 13 how we learned that some people will not accept the Word when it is presented to them. I once gave the plan of salvation to a person I was visiting. At the end, I asked him if he knew whether he was saved or not. He confirmed to me that he knew he wasn’t a Christian. I asked him if he would like to become one today, and his answer was “no.” He knew he wasn’t a Christian, and he didn’t want to become one, in spite of hearing the Word of God. The reaction of others may be to accept the Word at the time. People have a free will. It’s our responsibility to bring the Word to them. The Holy Spirit urges these people to accept Christ. The decision is up to these people.
Sometimes when you witness to someone, they’ll be friendly. Sometimes, they’ll be hostile. Had that man warned me of harm if I didn’t leave, I would have left. The disciples ran into this dilemma in Acts 14:5-6.
Acts 14:5-6 “And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them, They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:”
Suffice to say that when you witness to the lost, you need to use some common sense when it comes to your safety. God loves those who are martyred for Him. But He also loves for us to witness to the lost. If the Word is not accepted where you’re delivering it, go to where it will be.
Acts 14:6-7 “They were ware of [it], and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about: And there they preached the gospel.”
Finally, let’s read a verse toward the end of this chapter which has a great message for us.
Acts 14:27 “And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”
When we as Christians come together for fellowship, we should recount to each other how God has blessed us in our lives. Give a testimony of how God has blessed and be strengthened about how God has blessed others in your circle of Christian friends. Exhortation like this allows Christians to grow in faith. It’s very easy to become discouraged in this era we live in. We should follow the words of Acts 14:27 and also Philippians 4:8 to help strengthen our faith in God.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”