Summary: This sermon demonstrates the great commitment that the apostle Paul had to the great commission and the great commandment and calls all of us to that that same commitment.
The First Missionary Journey
July 21, 2002
A. [NO SCAR? By Amy Carmichael]
Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star,
Hast thou no scar?
Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers, spend,
Leaned Me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned:
Hast thou no wound?
No wound, no scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And, pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole: can he have followed far
Who has no wounds nor scar?
B. Today we continue with part 2 of our study of Paul’s first missionary journey.
I. In Iconium: Division
A. The brothers preached effectively.
Acts 14:1, At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed.
1. Following their getting run out of town in Pisidian Antioch, two things happened:
a. Immediately after being persecuted and run out of town in Pisidian Antioch by the Jews, Paul and Barnabas went "as usual into the Jewish synagogue" in Iconium.
1) The last verse in the last chapter tells us that even though they had been persecuted and run out of town in Pisidian Antioch, they were full of joy and the HS.
2) They were full of joy and the HS and therefore did not allow the persecution in the previous town to dissuade them from their usual habit of going into the Jewish synagogue to give them the first opportunity at salvation.
b. The second thing the verse says is that Paul and Barnabas preached effectively.
1) They preached the Scripture effectively.
2) They preached Jesus effectively.
3) They preached so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed.
4) They preached in such a way that those who looked into the Scriptures for themselves saw and believed.
2. And I believe we’re seeing the same things today.
a. I believe we are beginning to see more and more preachers who are anointed of God to preach effectively.
b. I believe we are seeing more and more preachers who are preaching in a way that is understandable.
c. I believe we are seeing more and more preachers who are preaching in a way that is affecting peoples’ lives.
d. And I believe we are beginning to see more and more people getting saved.
e. I believe there are more and more people beginning to realize that there are problems in this world and our time is limited.
f. I believe we are going to see more and more people getting saved.
B. The refusers poisoned the believers’ minds.
Acts 14:2, But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.
1. There were those "who refused to believe."
a. There were those in Iconium who refused to believe the preaching of Saul and Barnabas about Jesus.
b. There were those in Iconium who refused to believe even though they had preached so effectively that many Jews and Gentiles believed.
c. This wasn’t a case of Paul not making his point.
d. This wasn’t a case of Paul being a poor preacher.
e. This was a case that even though Paul came and taught the Scriptures effectively, there were some of the long-time religious people "who refused to believed."
2. But not only did they refuse to believe themselves, they refused to let anyone else believe.
a. The verse goes on to say that they stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against [Paul and Barnabas.]
b. Not only did they refuse to believe what Paul and Barnabas preached, they refused to let anyone else believe.
c. They stirred people up and poisoned them against Paul and Barnabas.
d. Gossip and slander.
e. I’m sure they made comments about their character and lack of respect for the long standing traditions of the church.
f. I’m sure they told people that this not what they had been teaching the people about the Bible for many years.
3. And of course this is still true today.
a. There are many who refuse to believe what God is telling us today.
b. There are many who refuse to believe what God is doing today.
c. And sadly too many of those call themselves believers and go to church.
d. There are those who even go to church but refuse to believe.
e. And they poison the minds of believers against their preachers.
f. Sadly the biggest battles that preachers fight today are against their own people.
g. And too many of those preachers simply give up instead of continuing to fight the good fight like Paul did.