“Should I Stay or Should I Go?”, Acts 14.1-7, Thames Valley churches of Christ, Malcolm Cox

Jun 12, 03:19 PM
“Should I Stay or Should I Go?”, Acts 14.1-7
Introduction, v1a
• Modern Konya, 90 miles east of Antioch.  
• Abundant water, a genial climate, rich vegetation, and great prosperity.
• “Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and 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, Iconium and Antioch,” (Acts 14:21 NIV11)
• “The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.” (Acts 16:2 NIV11)
• “what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and 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

A. Belief
B. Opposition
• “refused” - a choice
C. Perseverance
• “considerable time”
• “boldly”
• Message of his grace - wonderful phrase
• God with you
• God enabling you - ‘didomi’
• How?
• 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
B. Opposition
• More serious this time
• Gentiles and Jews - 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)

Summary
Expect people to choose
Expect the negative people to oppose you
Move on when to stay would prevent the gospel being spread

Conclusion, v7
• Unstoppable zeal
• Neither poisoning nor plots were enough to deter them
• Starts with “as usual”
• Ends with “continued to preach”
• God:
• Confirmed the message of His grace
• Empowered his messengers
• Affirmed his bold ambassadors

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool", a devotional look at the Gospel of John

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