When Opposed and Reviled

Video Talk

Acts 18:5-11 ESV

“When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, ‘Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.’

“And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.

“And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.’ And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.”

What is standing out to me today about this passage of Scripture is that when we, as followers of Christ, share the truth of the gospel (the whole counsel of God), and not this watered down and altered gospel message which is permeating the American church, we are going to be opposed, rejected, cast aside, be unwanted, not accepted, forsaken, forgotten, and reviled, etc. Even those within the gatherings of the church will oppose and revile us, which can include friends, neighbors, and even family members.

What is standing out to me next is that, when we are opposed and reviled, although sometimes the Lord says to stay, he will also lead us to go someplace else. And if we find that it is the same everywhere we go, because so much of what are called churches today are businesses of men being marketed to the people of the world, then the Lord may say “Leave Babylon, and go where I send you.” And that is what he did with me, and he led me to minister his gospel message on the internet (for me, fulltime).

Now some people think I am out of fellowship with God because I am not sitting in a building called “church” on a Sunday morning singing songs, a lot of which mean nothing to me, and listening to sermons, many of which are now very market-driven and diluted in order to attract the people of the world. But that is not biblical church. We the people of faith are the church, and we are to gather together so that we, the body of Christ, can minister to one another, to encourage, exhort, and urge one another to holy living.

So, if what is called “church” is opposing and reviling us, and/or if they are casting us aside and telling us to go someplace else where we will be a better fit, and so God can’t use us in these institutional market-driven “churches” (businesses), then we need to go where God can use us in the way that he designed for us to be used of him to spread the truth of his gospel and to encourage the body of Christ. And you should be happy for me that I am in a place where God is using me, where I am making a difference.

For it is better for me to be used of God to minister to other people than to be somewhere that is casting me aside and is telling me, “We have no need of you” (see 1 Corinthians 12). But this isn’t about me. This is about all of us. For all of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ should be sharing the truth of the gospel with others (1 Peter 2:9), and if we are doing our job, we should be being opposed and even reviled by others who call themselves Christians, and even by those calling themselves pastors of “churches.”

So, the Lord says not to be afraid but to keep sharing the truth of the gospel no matter how we get treated in return, and by whom. For if we are following the Lord Jesus with our lives, in truth, he is with us. So we are to keep on speaking the truth of the gospel, and we should keep on encouraging one another towards walks of holiness and righteousness and obedience to our Lord and away from walking in sin. But don’t expect that you will have a huge following. Just keep obeying the Lord and trust him.

[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Jn 17:14; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13; Rev 6:9-11; Rev 7:9-17; Rev 11:1-3; Rev 12:17; Rev 13:1-18; Rev 14:1-13]

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Words by Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907
Music by George C. Stebbins, 1907

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

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2 thoughts on “When Opposed and Reviled

  1. We are for sure living in the age of the “mega church”. Oftentimes people are not willing to worship in a church with fewer people, without “entertainment”. The last church we served was a small country church. Yet when they held the weekly women’s prayer group, these ladies truly got down to business with their prayers and interceded for others who were on their list…names and situations coming from anyone and everyone asking for prayer. It was one of the most spiritually refreshing experience for me in our years of ministry. Don always said this church was small but mighty in faith!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marti, yes, there are still gatherings of the body of Christ which are honoring Christ as Lord, and which are functioning as the body of Christ in a biblical sense. But they are getting fewer and fewer in number. And it isn’t really the size of the congregation so much that matters, but it has to do with their focus, whether it is on the Lord and serving him with their lives and functioning as the biblical body of Christ, or whether it is about attracting the world to their gatherings and so they are patterning their gatherings and their messages after the world and what the world wants so that the people of the world will want to come to their gatherings.

      Sadly, the latter is where most appear to be today, and so those of us who are still adhering to the old rugged cross are antiquated and are being pushed out because in their marketing training they are being warned about people with strong convictions. And Rick and I went through some of that training where they taught us to use “needy people” while we get up and running, but once we are up and running we are to get rid of them so that they do not drag us down. Marketing is taking the place of the Holy Spirit, sadly.

      But I am so happy that you had a good experience, for not everyone does. And thank you so much for reading and for responding. I always love to hear from you and I appreciate your responses and your insights, and most of all your friendship. God bless you. Love you! Sue


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