Unstoppable Gospel (Acts 12:24-25)
Acts 12:24-25, “But the word of God grew and multiplied. 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.”
In the book of Acts, we read that the Word of God continued to grow and be multiplied, and then mentions the return of Saul, Barnabas, and John Mark to Antioch. This sets the stage for the expansion of the Gospel among the Gentiles that comprises the rest of Acts. Herod and the Jews opposed God’s Saviour and came under His judgment. The apostles and early church suffered much, and many died violent deaths, but the Word of God continued to grow and be multiplied. God rewarded them abundantly and eternally in heaven.
According to II Timothy 2:8-9, the Word of God is not bound. Regardless of the opposition, the Gospel is being spread across the world. We can always quit and give up when things get hard, or we can choose to persevere and accomplish what needs to be done. Successful disciples follow the example that Jesus set and carry on even in the face of criticism, opposition, and great difficulty.
Jesus endured the hardships He faced, and if we trust Him, He will empower us to do the same. Jesus has overcome everything. Bring to mind, all He has done for you. He saved you from sin and its eternal consequences, lived the greatest life worth imitating, and He guides and guards you. Remember Jesus is not limited or bound. He and His Word will accomplish all God intends for them to accomplish in you and through you.
The Audaciousness of the Church (Acts 12:24-25)
In spite of the killing of Stephen and James, plus a host of other persecutions of the church, the church did not die. The church continued to display its courage and compassion as it kept on glowing, growing, and going, much to the dismay of evil. The words "grew and multiplied" mean that the church kept on growing and multiplying. The progress of God's Word could not be stopped. Men and governments might try to stop it, persecute, imprison, and kill those who proclaim God's Word; but their efforts to silence the Word will always be to no avail. God overrules all and always will. God has ordained His Word to be proclaimed, bear fruit, to grow and multiply and it shall be by all those who are truly His.
1. The Additions to the Church (Acts 12:24)
In spite of the attacks on the church, it kept growing.
2. The Accomplishments of the Church (Acts 12:25)
In spite of the opposition to the church, the church still accomplished this special mission. The church will always accomplish the objective for which God has set out for it regardless of the opposition.
3. The Advancing of the Church (Acts 12:25)
In spite of the persecution of the church, it did not stop the providential preparation for the advancing of the church.
Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
The apostles and early church suffered much, and many died violent deaths, but the Word of God continued to grow and be multiplied. We see the effects of the persecution. As a result the Gospel message is spread. The impact of the Gospel just kept growing and multiplying. Persecution cannot stop the Word. The Word has life in it, so it grows and multiplies. The Gospel spreads rapidly, and many more become believers. God rewarded them abundantly and eternally in Heaven.
Whether the Almighty God delivers us from persecution, or we die for our faith, we must commit ourselves wholly to the furtherance of His Gospel. John Paton was born in Scotland in 1824. As a young Christian, he labored as a city missionary in the slums of Glasgow. But he felt God’s call to take the Gospel to the fierce cannibals of the New Hebrides islands in the South Pacific. John Williams and James Harris made the first attempt to take the Gospel there in 1839. They were clubbed to death and eaten within a few minutes of their landing. Paton and his new wife landed there on November 5, 1858. On February 12, 1859, she gave birth to a son, but on March 3rd, she died from complications after childbirth. On March 20th, the baby died. Of course Paton struggled with his grief and loneliness. Just before his wife died, she expressed her wish that her mother could be there with her. Then she added, “You must not think that I regret coming here, and leaving my mother. If I had the same thing to do over again, I would do it with far more pleasure, yes, with all my heart. Oh, no! I do not regret leaving home and friends, though at the time I felt it keenly. Her dying words were, “Not lost, only gone before to be for ever with the Lord.” Paton lived into his seventies, devoting himself to the cause of the gospel among these cannibals, experiencing many divine deliverances. At the end of his life he exclaimed, “Oh that I had my life to begin again! I would consecrate it anew to Jesus in seeking the conversion of the remaining Cannibals on the New Hebrides”
Points to Ponder:
I want thank you for your faithfulness and continued support on this ministry as we endeavor to take the Gospel of Christ to the uttermost parts of the world. I’m truly grateful for your prayers, sharing our websites articles with others. My wife and I are blessed to be part of such a sweet church family. We sure miss our snowbirds. Can’t wait to have you all back with us. Pastor Torey Blackman.
PRAYER: LORD, thank You for Your great love and the Gospel. Help me to do my part in Your Great Commission. I desire to reach others with for You, help pave the way for those I will encounter. Continue to open doors at work, school, etc. Help me to never lose sight of the potential and the opportunities that You have given to me. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.