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Grass Doesn’t Grow on a Rolling Stone

In Acts 14:1-7 Paul and Barnabas enter the synagogue in Iconium and preach the gospel, to which a large number of Jews and Greeks believe in Jesus and become followers.  Some of the Jews didn’t believe and they stirred up the Gentiles against those who had believed.  Paul kept on preaching the word and God was so powerful that signs and wonders started happening.  These signs and wonders came at the hands of Paul and Barnabas and it was further proof that God was working in a powerful way among the people.  This was just too much for the disbelievers and they set a plot to mistreat Paul and Barnabas, and any followers of the way, and stone them.   Paul and Barnabas heard of the plot and fled that town and went about 20 miles away to the town of Lystra. Guess what happened?  Yep, they kept on preaching the gospel!!  Paul and Barnabas did not want to be on the cover of the rolling stone of that day, but the terrific things that were happening put them in the crosshairs of those unbelievers and stones were going to be thrown by the unbelievers to stop the message.  So they fled the town.

What would happen if someone actually stood up and said, “Jesus is the only way to life eternal and you must repent and accept Him for forgiveness.  There is no other way to do this except through Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”  Right now in our world it would cause riots by those who “just don’t know any better” and the person who was preaching that message would be threatened in just the same way that Paul and Barnabas were.  Franklin Graham has been very faithful to preach that message effectively throughout his life and there is no doubt he has been threatened by those who are unbelievers.  He, like Paul, shares the message where he is able to and lets the cards fall where they may.  I think the  need to pray for him is something each of us should commit to do.  We should also stand in our faith and proclaim the same message of hope in Christ to all we meet.  If Paul and Barnabas had not been committed to their calling and mission they would have quickly said, “Forget this.”  In leaving Iconium, their next stop would have been back to the base at Syrian Antioch.  Mission over!!  But they didn’t let the opposition stop them and the message of the gospel continued on in other towns where they had not heard of Jesus.  I thank God for their follow through in sharing the message wherever they went and also pray for the same kind of commitment they had in sharing that message.  As you can  easily see, the message of Jesus will be rejected by the antagonists of the day, but we still  need to “press on” in sharing that message and everything else will fall into place.  There may come a day when we are running for our very lives because we profess Christ, but that should not be unexpected.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  

We may have stones rolling our way some day, but those stones will never stop the life-giving message of Jesus.  Continue to preach and share the word of Jesus and know that God will protect and propel you into areas of service you never thought possible.  Don’t let the grass grow on you because of your inactivity.  Be moving forward constantly.

The Pilgrimage continues….

David Warren

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