October 16 – Missionary Journeys – Acts 17
Paul and Silas leave Philippi, and begin preaching in Thessalonica. Many are saved, and a church in Thessalonica is born (verse 4). Verses 5 & 6 helps us to understand why people are so violent and anti-authority today. There were Jewish leaders that did not get saved, and became envious. These leaders consorted with a group of thugs and manipulated them to stir up trouble in the city. They began attacking, looting, and calling for the unjustified arrest of Jason and his friends. It has been weird for me to read this story, because it parallels so well with many of the stories on the news we see today. There have been leaders that have manipulated groups of people to stir up trouble. We have seen attacking, looting, and calling for unjustified arrests. The reasons behind today’s events and the story we read in Acts 17 are the same. To gain an understanding of how to process and deal with these actions, we must understand why the actions are taking place. What is the reason? People have heard the gospel, and have rejected Jesus Christ as Saviour. These people have stirred up the simple-minded man who has either not heard the gospel clearly, or have rejected Christ as well. The enemies of Christians do not hate the Christian, they reject or hate Christ. Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
There are three reactions Christians can expect when we share the gospel found in verses 32-34. Can you find them? Let them be an encouragement to you, and share this truth with others.