Paul needed experienced great joy as people who heard the gospel turned by faith to Christ. But he also underwent much trouble from those opposed to the message of the resurrected Christ. This message should encourage us to live by faith and trust God to bring us through whatever (coronavirus) we may face in life.
The most important question an unbeliever can ask was posed by the Philippian jailer. “What must I do to be saved?” The reason we proclaim the gospel, the reason we share God’s word with others, is to lead unbelievers to ask that very question.But what happens when they do?Are we prepared to give them the most important answer they will ever hear?
The first demand Jesus made in his public ministry was “repent and believe the good news!”That’s the heart of what we need to know to be saved.
During this second missionary journey, Paul picks up Timothy and together they greatly strengthened the churches which Paul had already established.
After strengthening the churches in the region, he was forbidden by the Holy Spirit to go there.
It’s interesting to note that the Holy Spirit stopped Paul from doing something we normally think of as good – preaching God’s Word to those who need it. Let's see how this passage can speak into our lives today.
So let’s begin today in chapter 16, where Timothy joins Paul and Silas on their second missionary journey. Timothy had to find balance between the freedom he had through Christ and the things that were needful to reach others with the gospel.
After the completion of the first missionary journey we find Paul and Barnabas serving the church at Antioch for over a year. But they found it necessary to return to Jerusalem to counter an uprising among legalistic Christian Jews still focused on the question, "What must Gentiles do to be saved?"
Wherever the gospel is preached, we should expect a mixed reaction. Some will believe; some reject and turn away; still others will reject it and stir up opposition against those who proclaim the truth of God's Word concerning His Son.
There is a section of text in chapter 12 and another in 13 that we’ll look at together because in them we can see the hording and the hindering of God's praise.
First in chapter 12:20b-24 of Acts, we see Herod’s attempt to hord for himself praise due only for God and what it cost him. And in chapter 13, we look at one man’s attempt to hinder the faith of others and what it cost him.
More importantly, what do we learn from these two accounts?
In today's passage of Acts 12:1-17, Herod, seeking favor with the Jews, arrested James, the brother of John and had him executed. When he saw this pleased the Jews, he arrested Peter, and planned to kill him too. So, this passage opens with the Apostle James dead and the Apostle Peter in prison, about to be put to death.
In this prison experience, God shows up in an amazing way and gives His servants great reason to continue to praise His name and give Him glory.
Chapter 10 first revealed the visit from an angel to Cornelius, then God’s revelation to Peter that nothing he has created is to be considered unclean.
Now the last part of the chapter climaxes with the opening of the Gospel to the gentiles and to people everywhere.