Today the pastor didn’t really preach the Gospel, save a few sentences. The passage was Acts 14:19-21, this passage talks about how the Pharisees had won people over. The only way that the Pharisees would win people over would be by the law, they were preaching about the law and winning people over. Paul was preaching the Gospel that Jesus died for us on the cross, the Pharisees were angry about Paul preaching the Gospel so they stoned him (to the point where they thought he was dead) and dragged him out of the city.
That’s not the end though, the disciples came to him and he got up! Then he actually walked into the city where he had just been stoned. Now the pastor said that Paul got up because he was “determined”, but think about it. Paul was stoned so bad that they thought he was dead, it’s highly unlikely that he would be so determined that he could get up and walk into the very city where he had a very high chance of being stoned… again.
So what was it that got him up and into the city again? I couldn’t be determination or will-power, so what could it be? It was 2 things: the 1st is that Paul had the Gospel and that motivated him. The 2nd was that Paul loved the people of Antioch and he wanted to share the good news of the Gospel! Paul had zeal to share the Gospel with as many people as he could, believers and unbelievers alike.
What is it about the Gospel that motivated Paul? Well first we’ll look at what the Gospel is. The Gospel is not that you should come to the altar, or pray the prayer (like my family and I have heard in the past). It is that Jesus (God’s own son and God Himself) came down from His kingdom in heaven and died for us on a cross! He took our sins on Him and died for us so that we could live, isn’t that amazing? So no wonder why Paul was motivated to preach the Gospel! Why wouldn’t he want to preach that God loved us so much that He died for us to save us from our sins?
Jesus died for us, that and love for the people of Antioch, made him get up and go back into that city. Paul wanted so much to share the Gospel with them that he went to the very city where he’d been beaten to a pulp. We should want to share the Gospel with others too! It is amazing that Jesus would die for us, and we should share that news!
There is another thing that this passage teaches us. When the disciples came Paul got up, if a brother (or a sister :)) has fallen then we should help them and strengthen them. How? Well if you continue reading Acts 14 then it says that the Gospel also strengthen’s believers! We can strengthen and encourage each other by sharing the Gospel with each other. No matter if you are preaching to Christians or unbelievers you should preach the Gospel!
Thank You Jesus!
Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland.