Suffering and Deliverance (Part 42) - Paul (Part B)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, April 24, 2022.
E. Paul was persecuted in Antioch in Pisidia. i. On his first evangelistic trip, after making a few stops, Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia and attended a service at the synagogue where he was given a chance to speak to the people (Act 13:14-15). a. Paul took the opportunity and preached the gospel to them (vv. 16-41). b. After the sermon when the Jews had left, the Gentiles wanted to hear the gospel again on the next sabbath (Act 13:42). c. Many of the Jews followed Paul and Barnabas after the meeting and were persuaded by them to continue in the grace of God (Act 13:43). ii. The next sabbath day nearly the whole city showed up to hear the word of God (Act 13:44). a. This provoked the unbelieving Jews to envy and they contended with Paul, contradicting and blaspheming (Act 13:45). b. Paul and Barnabas told the Jews they were turning to the Gentiles who received the word of God gladly, and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed (Act 13:46-48). c. The word of God was published throughout all the region (Act 13:49). d. This further enraged the Jews who stirred up the influential people and raised up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from the area (Act 13:50). (i) Persecution n. 1. a. The action of persecuting or pursuing with enmity and malignity; esp. the infliction of death, torture, or penalties for adherence to a religious belief or an opinion as such, with a view to the repression or extirpation of it; the fact of being persecuted; an instance of this. (ii) The apostles were suffering as Christians and were blessed for it (1Pe 4:12-16; Mat 5:10-12; Luk 6:22). e. They followed Jesus' commandment and shook off the dust of their feet against them and went to Iconium (Act 13:51 c/w Luk 9:5 & Luk 10:10-11). f. Rather than being dejected and discouraged, the apostles were rather filled with joy because they were persecuted for Christ and His gospel (Act 13:52 c/w Luk 6:23). g. The Lord had delivered Paul out of the hands of the wicked. F. Jews and Gentiles attempted to murder Paul and Barnabas in Iconium. i. When Paul and Barnabas got to Iconium they went into the synagogue and preached, and a great multitude of Jews and Gentiles believed (Act 14:1). ii. The unbelieving Jews, again filled with envy, stirred up the Gentiles and turned their minds against the apostles (Act 14:2). iii. This hostility did not deter Paul and Barnabas who stayed there for a long time preaching the gospel boldly (Act 14:3). iv. The city was divided with part holding with the Jews and part with the apostles (Act 14:4). Notice two things: a. The gospel of Christ causes division among men (Luk 12:51-53; Joh 7:43; Joh 9:16; Joh 10:19). b. "The Jews" in Act 14:4 refers to the unbelieving Jews since "the apostles" with whom they are contrasted were also Jews. (i) Men are divided into three groups in the Bible: unbelieving Jews, unbelieving Gentiles, and the churches made up of believing Jews and Gentiles (1Co 10:32). (ii) In the NT church, it makes no difference whether one is a Jew or a Gentile (Col 3:11; Eph 2:11-17). v. The unbelieving Jews and Gentiles together made an assault against Paul and Barnabas and tried to stone them (Act 14:5). a. Assault n. – 1. a. gen. An onset or rush upon any one with hostile intent; an attack with blows or weapons. b. Jews normally wanted to have little to do with the Gentiles (Act 10:28), but when it came to persecuting Christ's ministers, they could set aside their differences as the wicked often do. (i) Pilate and Herod, who were enemies, were made friends after they had a common enemy in Jesus Christ (Luk 23:12). (ii) The Pharisees and Sadducees, who had serious doctrinal disagreements, joined together to persecute Paul (which Paul wisely exploited) (Act 22:30 c/w Act 23:6). vi. When Paul and Barnabas found out about the plan to kill them they fled to Lystra and Derbe and preached the gospel there (Act 14:6-7). a. There is a time to flee (Mat 10:23). b. If we must flee, we must never do so to hide and cower in fear, but in order to go to a different place where we can keep preaching the gospel and worshipping God as He has commanded us. G. The Jews instigate the attempted murder of Paul at Lystra. i. While at Lystra Paul healed a crippled man who had never walked (Act 14:8-10). a. When the pagans there saw the miracle they thought Paul and Barnabas were gods and tried to worship them (Act 14:11-13). b. Paul and Barnabas explained that they were just men and preached to them to turn from idolatry and serve the living God (Act 14:14-17). c. They were barely able to stop the people from sacrificing unto them (Act 14:18). ii. The Jews who persecuted Paul in Antioch and attempted to murder him in Iconium came to Lystra and persuaded the people to stone Paul (Act 14:19). a. People, and especially unconverted people, are fickle-minded. (i) The people of Lystra not long before this thought Paul was a god descended from heaven and attempted to worship him. (ii) Soon afterwards they are persuaded to kill him. (iii) Likewise, the pagans at Melita concluded that Paul was a murderer because he was bitten by a venomous snake (Act 28:3-4), but after a while when he was not harmed by it they decided he was a god (Act 28:5-6). b. They stoned Paul and drew him out of the city supposing him to be dead (Act 14:19). (i) Stoned ppl. - 1. Pelted with stones. (ii) Stone v. - 1. a. trans. To throw stones at, pelt with stones; esp. to put to death by pelting with stones. (iii) It doesn't take much imagination to know how painful a stoning would be. 1. Have you ever been hit in the head or the body with a stone or even a baseball? 2. Imagine that pain, multiplied by 100, simultaneously. iii. The LORD delivered Paul from death. a. After being left for dead, Paul rose up and went back into the city and then went to Derbe the next day and preached the gospel there (Act 14:20-21). b. After preaching the gospel in Derbe and teaching many, Paul returned to Lystra where he had been stoned and confirmed the disciples there and exhorted them to continue in the faith and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God (Act 14:21-22). c. Paul ordained elders in the churches he had started in those areas where he was persecuted before he continued on his evangelistic journey (Act 14:23). iv. Paul suffered tremendously but nevertheless continued in the faith as an excellent example for us to follow.
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