Missions Preaching Acts 14:1-7 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Missions preaching is a lesson about what men should do and what they can expect when they go to the mission field. The text is about Paul and Barnabas in Iconium. Notice:
Their method. Both together, Acts 14:1. This is the formula that Jesus established. John Haveman said that men should go together to plant a church. In missions that is rarely possible; it’s hard enough for a man to raise his own support. And often men who could work together here can’t work together there. In Acts 15:39 it happened to Paul and Barnabas. Notice how this worked at first. Barnabas went to Tarsus to seek Saul and involve him in the work in Antioch. Saul was an unusual convert for sure. But a missionary can go to a field and find a Saul, a young man [Acts 7:58], who gets saved and then trains to be his partner. They can go out together and do the work or plant a church. God blessed them with good fruit “a great multitude.”
Their opponents. Stirred up, Acts 14:2. If it’s the real gospel [Jesus Christ, word of God, Holy Spirit] then there is going to be opposition [1 Cor 16:9; Acts 19:9; 2 Cor 11:24-26]. Jews and Gentiles who don’t normally get together came together against the “brethren.” Enemies become friends when they have a common enemy and this is particularly true of Jesus [Lk 23:12] and his followers. They take their opposition out on the converts to scare them and to turn them. The Catholic priest stirred up the people against Bro. Murphy in Romania.
Their boldness. Boldly, Acts 14:3. The opposition didn’t slow them down. They were bold [Eph 6:19-20; Phil 1:20]. You are bold because of the Lord but, often because of the opposition, boldness increases [Phil 1:14].
Their testimony. The word of his grace, Acts 14:3. The testimony of the Lord was the word of his grace. That’s where the saints are built up and prosper [Acts 20:32]. The signs we granted, as well, because they were dealing with Jews [1 Cor 1:22], but the signs were not the principle thing like you see with the Charismatics on the field. Ian Clarke said those “signs” messed things up in Uganda, Africa.
Their division. Divided, Acts 14:4. God is a divider, not a unifier, when it comes to the gospel [Matt 10:34-39]. The ecumenical movement is of the devil. And to think that families aren’t going to be split up and friendships divided over Jesus is wrong. These are hard choices for people and you need to be aware of the price they pay and the pressure they endure.
Their tribulation. Assault, Acts 14:5. The trouble increased from opposition to assault. Men have lost their lives in missions for the sake of the gospel. And men will continue to lose their lives for the word of God. Acts 14:22; 17:1-10 and 2 Thes 1:3-6 show you that we enter the kingdom of God through much tribulation.
Their flight. Fled, Acts 14:6. Paul and Barnabas didn’t chicken out. They followed the command of the Lord. When a man makes a nuisance of himself so he can make a name for himself he has lost sight of his commission [Matt 10:23]. When the apostles fled they were only doing what the Lord had warned them to do. He used this kind of persecution to keep them moving [Acts 8:3-4] not to shut them up.
Their steadfastness. Preached the gospel, Acts 14:7. Missions preaching is gospel preaching. You see, they kept preaching the gospel and that is what we are ultimately called to do. 1 Cor 9:16; 1 Cor 15:1-4; 2 Cor 4:5
Conclusion: Missions preaching should not only encourage folks to go to the mission field but it should also adequately prepare them for what they will encounter when they get there.