Now, the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him saying …
– Acts 11:1–2
I’ll stop there before going into the rest of the chapter, but let’s just point out the obvious here.
Acts 11:1–2 Shows Us that Gospel Advancement Always Faces Opposition
When the gospel started to spread to the gentiles, to the nations, when the nations began to receive the word of God, there was criticism among people who claimed to be worshipers of God, who claimed to be even followers of Jesus. And this is a theme that we see throughout the Bible. The way I put it recently in a book I wrote called Don’t Hold Back, the global purpose of God has always faced resistance from the nationalistic people of God. There has always been all throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. This is yet one other example in Acts 11:1–2, of resistance among the people of God to the purpose of God in the world.
And, we shouldn’t be surprised by this. And we pray all the time on this podcast for unreached people. Three billion people who are unreached by the gospel right now. Why is that? Why with all the resources, technology, ease of travel, why with all the we have available to us in the church today, are there three billion people who have little to no knowledge of the gospel? Yes, there are all kinds of factors in the world that the devil, the adversary, is using to keep the gospel from spreading to those three billion people.
And one of those factors is actually within the church: resistance among God’s people to God’s purpose. And it plays out in so many different ways we won’t have time to go into. But just know, the more you give your life, your family, or lead your church for the spread of the gospel to all the nations, to all the peoples of the world, it will not get easier for you, your family, or your church.
Acts 11:1–2 Is Call to be Faithful to God’s Command to Go
It will get much harder, and not just when it comes to opposition from without. It will get much harder when it comes to opposition from within. Don’t be surprised. Acts 11:1–2. As soon as the gospel is going to the gentiles, there’s criticism. As soon as the gospel is going to the gentiles, there’s opposition so press through and don’t hold back. Don’t shrink back from giving your life, leading your family and your church to spread the gospel to people who’ve never heard it.
God, we pray put that kind of resolve today in your church, in each of our lives. God, to pray for the spread of the gospel through the nations, to give for the spread of the gospel of the nations, to go however you lead us. Right where we live, wherever you lead us, God help us to live for this and not to resist this. God, please help us in our day to not do what your people have continually done throughout their days. Our days as your people, so many have resisted your global purpose in the world or turned a blind eye and deaf ear to it.
God, help us to faithfully spread the good news of your grace and your love. Why would we resist this? God, help us to spread your word to the ends of the earth. Help us to spread it today. Help us not to be resistant to the opportunities you give us today to spread the gospel. And God, help us to not be resistant to any and every way you call us to pray, to give, to go and spread your word to people who’ve never heard it before. And God, when we face opposition not just from the world, but even in your church, help us not to shrink back, not to hold back, but to do all that you’re calling us to do confident in the power of your word.
Praying for the Arakh People
Acts 11:1, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth. God, we pray specifically today for the Arakh people of India. 713,000 people, no known Christian church. God, we pray that would change. We pray that the Arakh people would have disciples made and churches multiplied among them in North Central India. That you would raise up, send out brothers and sisters in India, from outside of India, from the United States, from wherever you might lead. From South Korea, from Brazil, from the nations going to the nations. God raise up laborers who will work for the spread of the gospel among the Arakh in India. Draw them to yourself.
May they receive your word and your salvation. God, help us not to resist in any way your call in our lives, our families, our churches, to spread your word in the world. For your glory and for the good of the nations and for our good and the process, in Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.