Summary: Based on Acts 13:1-12 - Reminder to believers that there will be opposition to the Gospel
OPPOSITION TO THE GOSPEL Acts 13:1-12
FBCF – 9/2/20 Refresh
INTRO – Youtube videos of street preachers. Amazing to see how quickly people turn against them in violent, abusive way. People just totally lose their minds when the Gospel is being preached.
- Street evangelist in Portland
- Gay pride parade in Tel Aviv
- Preaching on streets in Toronto
Physically assaulted – spit on – flipped off nonstop – cursed at w/ the most vile profanity you can imagine – lewd acts performed right in front of them – laughed at & mocked – screamed at – interrupted by police & sometimes arrested – equipment stolen or broken.
Thinking about this a lot recently. Horrendously amazed at the level of evil that is pouring across our nation. And to see these Christian preachers striving to share the love of Christ in the midst of frightening, maddening circumstances is overwhelming.
The Lord gave me some insight into this. You don’t see people going nuts over Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus, or JW’s or Mormons. Reason? B/c their messages are not interfering w/ their unsaved sin nature. Why? The Spirit is not in their messages.
- No power in the Koran
- No power in the Book of Mormon
- No power in the corrupted NWT of the Bible
But when a born-again Christian preaches the Gospel or witnesses to an unsaved person, their unsaved sin nature (flesh) encounters the HS, & the BATTLE IS ON!!!
- DDAY – US soldiers could have just stayed way out in the English Channel, away from the Germans & their guns & everything would have been just fine. No fighting. No danger. No battle. No death.
o But when they hit the beaches, they were in enemy territory & the enemy went nuts! Battle raged & when it was over, thousands & thousand of soldiers dead on both sides.
Gal. 5:16-25 - Flesh & Spirit in opposition to each other.
Opposition to the Gospel has been going on since Jesus’ life & ministry, & since the birth of the Church.
- Mark 3:6
o 4:1-2 – 1st time Peter & John were arrested
o 7 – Stoning of Stephen
o 8:3 – Saul “ravaging the Church…”
o 12:1 – Herod Agrippa “laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church.”
? Killed James
? Threw Peter in jail
Now Barnabas & Saul were about to experience opposition to the Gospel in chapter 13.
SET APART – v. 1-2 – Critical moment in the book of Acts & in the life of the Church. Up to this point, Jerusalem had been center of operations for the Church & Peter had been the principal leader. From ch. 13 on, Paul becomes primary personality & Antioch becomes the main center of activity for the Church.
- The beginning of foreign missions.
- Remainder of book of Acts emphasizes the ongoing fulfillment of the Great Commission & Acts 1:8.
- Paul begins here spreading the Good News across the known world of that day.
v. 1 – We see that the church at Antioch had prophets & teachers, but no one who was specifically called out to actively work & strategize to do outreach w/ the Gospel among unreached people. That was about to change.
v. 2 – In the midst of a time of worshiping & fasting (corporately), the Spirit spoke clearly to them & commanded them to set Barnabas & Saul apart to start this mission work.
- “set apart” – one Gk word – aphorizo – appoint, distinguish, define
o NLT – “Dedicate B & S for the work I have for them…”
- Isn’t it cool how the Spirit spoke during a time of corporate worship? HE STILL DOES!!!
- The Spirit had a work for them to do. He has a work for US to do!
SENT OUT – v. 3-4 – Look at how the Church sent them out – “After fasting & praying…”
- “fasting” – God uses fasting to bring His will into focus better in our lives. We deny ourselves certain things so that we will be more attune to His voice. And most of the time, as in this verse, it is connected to a time of intense prayer.
- “laying on of hands” – Nothing “magical” about this, but a solemn time of commissioning in which the church pledged its support to them. Provides a physical picture of the imparting of the HS to them.
- “sent them off” – apolyo – released them, loosed them, dismissed them
- “sent out by the HS” – different word that mean to send forth, to dispatch
o FD dispatch – sends us to a specific place, specific person, w/ a specific job to do