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Trouble & Triumph in Christ (Acts 14:19-28)

December 4, 2014

Reflecting on the Passage:

Here at East Point Church, we have begun a new sermon series entitled “Acts: The Spirit and the Church in the World“. This week’s sermon illustrates that the servants of Christ will suffer for the sake of their King. Pastor Carter encouraged the church to keep the faith and trust in the Lord knowing that our labor is not in vain, for He is with us. The focus of this sermon is on how the Gospel brings both manifold troubles and meaningful triumph in Christ.

Trouble for Gospels Sake

But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead (Acts 14:19;ESV).

The Apostles took the words of Christ seriously, when He said that they would certainly have tribulation in this life. Ironically, just as the multitudes welcomed Christ into Jerusalem with songs of praise, they cried out at against Him to Pilate for His crucifixion (cf. Matthew 15:8, 20:17-19, 21:1-11; Mark 15:13-14; Luke 23:21; John 12:12-50, 19:6-16). Likewise, Paul and Barnabas had received praise from men because of the work that God had done in the life of a lame man, but now these men along with the Jews from Antioch stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city (cf. Jesus Christ, Hebrews 13:12). These men understood the call to follow Christ was a call to suffer as well as reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:10-14).


Triumph in Christ

But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed (Acts 14:21-23; ESV).”

Paul endured great distress by being stoned for preaching Christ and doing good works in His name. The next day, he and Barnabas went to preach the Gospel in Derbe, then they returned back to the place were they experienced trouble. Perhaps, after seeing Paul suffer, the saints were tempted to become discouraged, but by God’s grace Paul and Barnabas return with encouragement so that they did not become weary in well doing (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Although Paul suffered affliction, the Lord strengthened him in his weakness that he might go strengthen those who were weak; and in so doing, demonstrating the love Christ demonstrated for those He loved (cf. Luke 22:32; John 15:8-20; Philippians 2:31 Peter 5:10).

Have you answered the call of Christ?

Jesus Christ explicitly told those who would follow Him to count the cost (Mark 10:26-31; Luke 14:25-35). He promised that His disciples would face troubles, trials and tribulations in this life, but He reassures them that His Kingdom is coming and when He comes, He will repay every man according to his deeds (Revelation 22:11-21). We can either fall on Christ now, being broken for His sake, yet restored eternally when He comes or He will fall on us, shattering our pride with His presence and remain broken forever because of our rebellion (Matthew 21:42-44).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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