“Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, ‘That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.’”(Acts24:24-25)
Proclaiming the gospel brings two responses. Some will accept the gospel with repentance and faith. Others will respond with rejection and rebellion. This dual reaction is clearly seen in 1st Corinthians1:18-25. When Simeon spoke of Jesus Christ in the Temple, he pointed out these two results.
The results belong to God (1st Corinthians 3:1-9). Our assignment is to preach the gospel so that all people will be brought either to receive Him or reject Him. The responsibility then sits squarely on their shoulders, for we have been obedient to God’s call for us to preach the gospel.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You simply ask us to do what all Christians are asked to do, preach and teach the gospel. Simple, straight-forward, and truthful. At this point, we have accomplished the task that You give us. Today, we ask that You continue to put people in our paths, that need to hear the gospel message. Help us through Your Holy Spirit to discern the message we are to deliver to those who have not heard it before. This we pray in Your Son, our Lord and Savior’s name. Amen.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Do your best, beloved, and let Jesus do the rest!”
“The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it.” (2nd Thessalonians1:8)
No better example of the church discharging its missionary responsibility appears in the New Testament. The faith of the church at Thessalonica had spread through the surrounding region of Macedonia just as the faith of the church in Rome had spread throughout the world (Romans 1:8). What a challenge for contemporary churches to become models for missions in the surrounding territory! Their faith spread beyond their own province or state (Macedonia) and to the next province (Achaia). But their interest in missionary outreach became known far beyond even those regions. Their central testimony concerned the change in their lives. Jesus had brought about and their confidence in His return. In short, Jesus and the gospel He brought to them, was profound and lasting. They continued to spread the gospel that had converted them to Christianity, in faith, hope and love, that it would do the same for all others. They were right then and still are today.
“Proclamation, Unbelievers”: (Acts26:–19-29)
Paul was in prison beginning in Jerusalem, then moved to Caesarea, as over 40 members of the Sanhedrin had pledged to kill him. First, his was under the Governor Felix and then under Governor Festus, who succeeded Felix. Felix brought Paul before him and listened to him, but decided not to take immediate action. Felix assumed Paul would offer him a bribe to be released, but instead after two years of captivity, he spoke openly about being a follower of the Way, and that all the charges against him were false and were intended to bring him under the Jews in Jerusalem and that they desired to kill him. So, Paul, instead of offering a bribe, asked for Judgment by Caesar, as he was legally a Roman citizen. All of this sums up the situation Paul found himself in. The Jews wanted to kill him, but the governor saw no substantiation of his charges. Instead, was standing in front of King Agrippa. After listening to Paul he asked him, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian? Paul said, “Short time or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.” Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”Paul was an educated man and no fool. By using his citizenship of Rome, he avoided the Jewish priests and their plot to kill him. He also witnessed for well over two years of his faith in Jesus Christ and many came to believe although not all.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: ‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.’” (Luke2:34-35)
The proclaimer must proclaim what the audience needs and is able to understand. Paul could preach only about the basics of the faith in Corinth because of their immaturity in the faith. Each proclaimer must find the task for which God has provided gift and opportunity. Proclaimers are not in competition with one another, for their audience is difference. This issue was upon following Paul or Apollos or anyone else. In truth, these are servants of the Lord Jesus Christ; we are followers of Christ, not Paul or Apollos or anyone else. If you are a follower of a man/woman, then you not a follower of Jesus Christ. This is the point then, as now. The gospel leads us to God through Jesus Christ, period.
Beloved, this both a warning and a promise. Those of us in the world today that are called to preach and teach, must do so honestly, directly, and truthfully. There is no room for ambiguity. The message of God’s Word is clear and is to be obeyed.
Proclamation is backed by God. The human proclaimer should have no fear in proclaiming His Word publicly. God gives His messengers freedom to disclose God’s good news of he kingdom to all persons everywhere.