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….