Resistance Doesn't Mean You've Missed It

Jon Burgess

3But the apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. And the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders.4But the people of the town were divided in their opinion about them. Some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.5Then a mob of Gentiles and Jews, along with their leaders, decided to attack and stone them.6When the apostles learned of it, they fled to the region of Lycaonia—to the towns of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding area.7And there they preached the Good News. Acts 14:3-7

Verse 1 starts out with the descriptive: "The same thing happened in Iconium..." There was a pattern here worth noting. The same thing that happened in Antioch of Pisidia was now about to happen in Iconium. Paul and Barnabas would preach in the Jewish Synagogues and many miracles would take place and many would be saved. The Jewish leaders would get jealous and try to kill them and then they would move on to the next town and do the same thing. The consistency of resistance was a hallmark of the ministry in the Book of Acts. Resistance didn't mean they missed the mark but rather that they had hit the heart with the Gospel. There will always be two different responses to the Gospel. "Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?." 2 Corinthians 2:15-16


Who is up to the task indeed? No one likes to be rejected. No one likes to have people wanting to kill them. I prefer to have everyone like me. Perhaps that's why a subtle false theology has crept into the church culture. If we say something about the Gospel that makes people mad we should stop saying it. If we follow that line of reasoning then those who aren't looking to be saved are now dictating the eternity of those who are seeking simply because we want to be liked. That's not right! Who is in the driver's seat in this scenario? Those who reject Christ are now driving the Gospel presentation because we want to please people instead of God? I think the waters get muddied because Christians say a lot of things that are very offensive and actually have nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus. So, there are many Christians who want to distance themselves from the over-politicized spiritual platitudes often spouted because they are offended by them as well. "I'm not like them" becomes "I don't want to offend". We must be careful though, that while distancing ourselves from the "sound-bite Christianity" of our day we do not distance ourselves from the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us not add to the offense of the Gospel but let us never forget the Gospel will always be offensive to some and freedom to others. In the presentation of the Gospel, resistance doesn't mean we've missed it. Let's be sure the resistance isn't coming from our unwillingness to share the Gospel for fear of rejection.


Lord, as I read the accounts of Acts I must confess I feel ashamed. I do not see myself running back into a city after they have just tried to kill me. I like to be in circles of acceptance. The very nature of following in Your footsteps means rejection is inevitable. Forgive me for people pleasing or any curtailing of the Gospel due to fear of man. I pray that the only offense in what I say would be the offense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Devotions for February 07

Leviticus 4,5,6
Acts 14

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