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Scripture Reading: Acts 14:21-28
Preaching, Persecution and Perseverance
1. Preaching the gospel in Antioch of Pisidia had saved lost souls, but also embittered envious people against the preachers and the gospel they preached (13:44-48).
2. Driven out of Antioch, Paul and Barnabas go to Iconium (Turkish city of Konya): ~80 miles SE of Antioch of Pisidia (Phrygia).
3. Review the events of Acts 14.
4. Acts 14: The nature of preaching, persecution and perseverance.
I. PREACHING BOLDLY IN THE LORD, Acts 14:3.
A. The Purposes of Gospel Preaching are Observed in Acts 14.
1. Produce faith unto salvation, 14:1; Rom. 10:13-15; 2 Ths. 2:13-14.
2. Oppose faithlessness, 14:13-18.
3. Strengthen the souls of the disciples, 14:22.
4. Use the teaching opportunities God provides, 14:27; Eph. 6:19-20.
B. The Persuasion of Gospel Preaching is Built Upon:
1. Careful reasoning from the Scriptures, 14:1; cf. Paulís use of OT Scriptures in his sermon at Antioch (Acts 13:16-41).
a. Reasoning and explaining from the Scriptures, Acts 17:2-3.
b. By speaking truth and reason, Acts 26:24-25.
c. Reason/result: Faith in power of God, not men, 1 Cor. 2:1-5.
2. Miraculous validation, 14:3; Mk. 16:20.
a. It is revelation from God, Gal. 1:11-12.
b. Miraculous validation of Godís power and approval, 14:8-10.
c. Its evidence is not successfully refuted, 1 Cor. 2:4-5; Heb. 2:3-4.
3. The faithfulness of the Lord, 14:22; 1 Cor. 1:9.
4. Result: Boldness in preaching! 14:3; 2 Tim. 1:7-8
II. FACING PERSECUTION FOR THE GOSPELíS SAKE.
A. The Gospel Naturally Produces Conflict and Persecution, Lk. 12:49-51; 2 Tim. 3:12; Lk. 6:26, 22-23.
1. It is the conflict between light and darkness, good and evil.
2. Do not be terrified by the adversary, Phil. 1:27-30.
B. Persecution brings more Opportunities, 1 Cor. 16:9; Phil. 1:12-14.
1. When persecuted, the temptation is to shrink back; run for safety.
2. Paul and Barnabas committed themselves to do more work, 14:3.
III. THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE FAITHFUL, Acts 14:21-23.
A. Through Many Tribulations We Enter the Kingdom of God, 14:22.
1. Persecution is endured through patient faith, 14:22.
2. Paul and Barnabas are a pattern of perseverance, 14:5-7, 19-20; 2 Tim. 3:11.
a. Faith comforts and sustains persecuted, 14:22; Heb. 11:36-39.
b. Conscience toward God, 1 Pet. 2:19-23.
c. Faith in Godís grace and strength, 2 Cor. 12:9-10.
B. Keep Doing the Work of God, Acts 14:22-23; 1 Cor. 15:58.
1. Strengthening the brethren to continue in the faith, 14:22.
2. Develop leaders in the churches: Appoint elders, 14:23.
a. Elders help Christians continue in the faith, Heb.13:17.
b. Sometimes asked: How did they get elders so fast (6 moĖ3 yrs)?
1) Godly Jews converted who met all the other qualifications.
2) Miraculous spiritual gifts (one of which was knowledge).
C. Be Assured that God is doing His Work through You, 14:26-27.
1. Gospel work (living) is Godís work, not the work of men.
2. When we faithfully obey, God is working in us to accomplish His purposes, Phil. 2:12-13.
a. God is making you complete, Heb. 13:20-21.
b. What a magnificent assurance!
1. Note: Being ďcommended to Godís graceĒ does not mean Christians will live free of trial, trouble and trauma, Acts 14:26.
2. It does mean that God will use you to do His work! Acts 14:27
3. Choose to be used by God to accomplish His purposes in your life; believe and obey His gospel.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: August 12, 2013