Opposition/Rejection From the Iconium Crowd

A young salesman became discouraged because he had been rejected by so many customers he approached. He asked a more experienced salesman for some advice. “Why is it that every time I make a call on someone I get rejected?” “I just don’t understand that,&r … More

Rejection

Christians who are doing anything for Christ must learn how to deal with many kinds of rejection.  One rejection can tip the scales weighted with hundreds of affirmations. Satan’s trick is to get our mind so occupied with a rejection that we forget all about the good things that are happening. Paul and Barnabas came to the city of Iconium, which was some seventy or eighty miles east of Antioch. Following the pattern established in Antioch, they went to the Jewish synagogue first to proclaim their message.

It has to be noted that Paul and Barnabas were taking their lives in their hands more and more (vv. 1-2). What was proposed in Iconium was nothing more than a lynching. The further Paul and Barnabas went, the further they moved from civilization. In the more civilized cities their lives at least were safe because Rome kept order; but in the area farther away, Paul and Barnabas were always under the threat of mob violence from the excitable crowds stirred up by the Jews. These two were brave men; it always takes courage to be a Christian. As usual they began in the synagogue, and as usual they had good success; but the jealous Jews stirred up the mob

God enabled the men to perform signs and wonders (v. 3). The city was divided, and the Christians were threatened with public disgrace and stoning (vv. 4-5). When Paul and Barnabas learned of this plot to mistreat and stone them, they fled to Lystra, which was about eighteen miles southwest of Iconium (vv. 6-7).

Application

I must never let negative things that people say influence me about what I do for the Lord? If I have opposition it is probably because Satan doesn’t like what I have to say and has stirred up the problems that I face. God will never ask me to do anything that He doesn’t equip me to do.

Acts 14:1-7 (English Standard Version)

Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles. When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, and there they continued to preach the gospel.

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