“The Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but go on speaking. Do not be silent, for I am with you. No one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are My people.”
These verses, this vision had to be so encouraging to Paul.
So Paul was in Corinth at this point, and facing all kinds of challenges. We know that Corinth was a hard city with all kinds of idolatry and immorality, so much opposed to the Gospel. You can only imagine just the challenges that Paul was facing and wanting to someday just move on to another place. So the Lord comes to Paul one night in a vision and says, “Do not be afraid.” Which obviously implies he was tempted to be afraid. There were threats against him. It was hard work that was threatening him, but Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid. Go on speaking, do not be silent.”, which implies at the very least that Paul was tempted to not speak The Gospel, to be silent.
Acts 18:9–10 Reminds Us Jesus is With Us
Then Jesus says, “I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you.” Then He gives this promise, “For I have many in this city who are my people.” In other words, He’s saying, “Paul, keep proclaiming the Gospel. There are people who I am drawing to Myself here, so don’t be afraid. Keep on speaking. Don’t be silent, keep doing this work.” I think about this, obviously Jesus is not … Unless He comes to you in a vision tonight saying this, He’s not come to me in a vision and said this, but we see here in Acts 18:9–10 a picture of Jesus’s encouragement to keep speaking the gospel, even when it’s not easy, even when we face challenges, even when we’re tempted to be silent, which aren’t we all tempted to be silent with the gospel? I know I am.
I will get in a conversation with somebody and I’ll have a wide open door to share the gospel, but I’ll be tempted to be silent, to not say anything, and almost shirk back in some kind of fear. I’m not even sure exactly what I’m afraid of. I’m guessing you can identify with that.
Jesus encourages us to keep speaking the gospel—even when it’s not easy, when we face challenges, and when we are tempted to be silent.
Acts 18:9–10 Leads Us to Speak the Gospel
Here, Jesus’s words to Paul almost like they are to us in those moments. Like, “Don’t be afraid. Don’t stop speaking. Don’t be silent. Speak The Gospel. I’m drawing people to Myself around you, through you.” Let’s believe that today, that God wants to draw people to Himself around us in our lives, in our neighborhoods, wherever we live, apartment, or on a campus somewhere, or in our work, that God is drawing people to Himself, and He’s using our speaking The Gospel to do that.
So God we pray, help us today. Help us today not to be silent with The Gospel. I pray for this for my life, for those who are listening, Lord help us to speak The Gospel. Help us to tell The Good News of what You have done in Christ, of how much You love people. God, why are we so tempted to be silent with this? Why are we so often afraid of sharing the greatest news in the world? Help us, we pray, to share it today. Help us not to be silent. Lord, help us to speak clearly, and compassionately, and lovingly, and boldly.
This Leads Us to Pray for Confidence in The Lord
We pray that we will have confidence in the middle of that. One, that You are with us. God, thank You, You’ve promised us. Jesus, You’ve promised us that as we make disciples of all nations, that You will be with us, that Your presence is with us, Your power with us, and that You are doing work through us, that You are drawing people to Yourself. Lord, we believe that wherever we are in the world right now … Listen to this. We believe that You love the people around us. We believe that You desire their salvation, and that You are working to draw people around us to Yourself. So we pray that You would help us to speak, help us not to be silent, help us to speak the gospel today.
As a result, God, we pray that you would do exactly what You did in Corinth, You would draw people to Yourself for Your glory and for their good, for their eternal good. Help us we pray, to speak with confidence in Your presence and do Your work around us today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.