“Should I Stay or Should I Go?”, Acts 14.1-7, Thames Valley churches of Christ, Malcolm Cox
“Should I Stay or Should I Go?”, Acts 14.1-7
•Modern Konya, 90 miles east of Antioch.
•Abundant water, a genial climate, rich vegetation, and great prosperity.
•“Then some Jews came from Antioch andIconiumand won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.” (Acts 14:19 NIV11)
•“They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra,Iconiumand Antioch,” (Acts 14:21 NIV11)
•“The believers at Lystra andIconiumspoke well of him.” (Acts 16:2 NIV11)
•“what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch,Iconiumand Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.” (2 Timothy 3:11 NIV11)
Results of effective speaking
1. Enabled by God, vv1b-3
•“refused” - a choice
•Message of his grace - wonderful phrase
•God with you
•God enabling you - ‘didomi’
•Prayer - “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” (Acts 4:29 NIV11)
•Suppression of ego: “for the Lord”, v3
•Focussed on preaching a person, not a religion: “for the Lord”
•Preaching a positive message - “his grace”, not negative one
Results of perseverance
2. The results of God’s enablement, vv4-6
A. People make a choice
•More serious this time
•GentilesandJews - unholy coalition. Reminds us of Pilate and Herod.
•Why do they decide to move on?
C. Moving on
•How do we decide when to move on?
•Surrounding countryside: Herts, Beds & Bucks
•Cynics - pigs simply devour - ““Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6 NIV
•When other opportunities present themselves - “Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”” (Mark 1:38 NIV11)
•Expect people to choose
•Expect the negative people to oppose you
•Move on when to stay would prevent the gospel being spread
•Neither poisoning nor plots were enough to deter them
•Starts with “as usual”
•Ends with “continued to preach”
•Confirmed the message of His grace
•Empowered his messengers
•Affirmed his bold ambassadors
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