THE GOSPEL AND MISSION
TEXT: Acts 13:42-52
In this passage, we see the different reactions of people to the gospel message Paul and Barnabas shared at the synagogue in Psidian Antioch. As we carry out the gospel mission God has given to us, we can expect similar reactions. These reactions, in turn, help us refine and focus our mission efforts.
BIG IDEA: Gospel receptivity determines mission strategy.
The Gospel Creates Curiosity
As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. – Acts 13:42-44
“The reason so many church leaders are tempted to seek power from so called relevance rather than from the gospel is because their gospel is missing pieces—or much more often, all the pieces are present, but they are not all connected.” — Future Church, Will Mancini
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” – Romans 1:16-17
The Gospel Arouses Hostility
The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. – Acts 13:44-45
“shake the dust off your feet”
Paul had dust on his feet from a long and dangerous journey. We will have dust on our feet from deep love and service.
good works → good will → good news
The result of the hostility.
- The hostility physically prevented their mission in one place.
But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. (50)
- The hostility divinely redirected their mission to another place (people).
Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “It was necessary to speak the word of God to you first. But since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. (46)
The Gospel’s Reception Determines Our Mission Direction
And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. – Matthew 10:11-14
“Watch to see where God is working and join Him in His work.” – Henry Blackaby
48And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. 49And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.
Gospel receptivity determines mission strategy, AND God is always at work to creative receptive people.
- If you are a follower of Jesus, you are on God’s Mission Impossible team.
- A significant part of your mission strategy needs to be gospel receptivity.
- You can be confident that God is already at work—and there are some in your world who have an appointment with eternal life.
- When the gospel is received, it will bear fruit. It’s the nature of the gospel.