Acts 14:18-23 :
Even saying these things, they hardly stopped the multitudes from making a sacrifice to them. But some Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.
But as the disciples stood around him, he rose up, and entered into the city. On the next day he went out with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the Good News to that city, and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many afflictions we must enter into the Kingdom of God. When they had appointed elders for them in every assembly, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.
You remember the story of the disciples at the time of Jesus death, how they all abandoned Him and were not able to have enough courage to endure his pain with him. Well, now things are quite different aren’t they? What was the difference? It was the power of the Holy Spirit that had come into them giving them the strength to endure severe opposition.
This is one of the most remarkable passages where we see the fearlessness of a man who is under the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice that enough damage was done against the truth by the Jews from a different city that it actually swayed the people to have Paul stoned to death. Amazingly enough, Paul survived! Instead of fleeing, He turned around and went back into the city!
Did Paul spend time in the emergency room? No. The very next day, he and Barnabas left to another city. Not only that, they went back again to the cities of Lystra, Iconium and Antioch to establish the churches with pastors! Now that is fearlessness.
Paul is very qualified to tell us to “continue in the faith, and that through many afflictions we must enter into the Kingdom of God.” Paul and the other disciples were living through those afflictions and fearlessly moving the word of God into places where it was not welcome by governments. What does that mean for us today?
I think it is quite obvious, isn’t it? We aren’t to stop sharing Jesus just because someone says we shouldn’t. We must continue to obey the King because someday, He will return and what we have done will be tested by the True Government. That True Government will only be Jesus’ Kingdom. No other religion will be represented there. The government will belong to the One World Leader, Jesus Christ. That is what we have to look forward to and that is what we must prepare ourselves for. When we stand before King Jesus, what will He say?