At Lystra and Derbe
- Acts 14:5 (KJV)
- Acts 14:6 (KJV)
- Acts 14:7 (KJV)
- Acts 14:8 (KJV)
- Acts 14:9 (KJV)
- Acts 14:10 (KJV)
- Acts 14:11 (KJV)
- Acts 14:12 (KJV)
- Acts 14:13 (KJV)
- Acts 14:14 (KJV)
- Acts 14:15 (KJV)
- Acts 14:16 (KJV)
- Acts 14:17 (KJV)
- Acts 14:18 (KJV)
- Acts 14:19 (KJV)
- Acts 14:20 (KJV)
- Acts 14:21 (KJV)
- Acts 14:22 (KJV)
- Acts 14:23 (KJV)
This time they did not wait to be expelled. Sometimes when you get wind of trouble it is an indication that it is time to leave. When they left, the church remained for it was founded on Christ. At Lystra / Derbe was a 15 year-old named Timothy who would join them three years later (16:1-2).
The Cripple Healed
This is important. Paul perceived that he had faith to be healed. Faith is purely divine; it is one hundred percent supernatural. If God does not give it, we cannot have it or muster it up, nor can it be blown up like a tire. God planted faith in this man as Paul preached, and Paul perceived that the man had divine faith as he commanded, “Stand upright on thy feet.” It is important to have discernment in these matters. One time an evangelist lifted a man out of his seat and instantly he was healed. In the next service he tried the same thing, but it turned out to be a serious mistake. The evangelist pulled a lady out of her seat expecting her to be made whole, but she collapsed. It was quite a pathetic scene. She did not have faith to be healed and the Holy Spirit knew that. Therefore, in cases like this you must discern who has or does not have divine faith.
The People Want to Worship the Apostles
After the apostles had performed this notable miracle, the people wanted to make them gods and tried to worship them. The apostles urged them not to attribute anything divine to them, saying that they were ordinary men just like everyone else. This is the attitude we must have if God is going to use us to perform mighty miracles. Only men and women who are false receive worship. None of the apostles ever accepted worship. God is the only one in the universe who should be worshipped.
False Religions—Because God Smote Man With Blindness
Paul and Barnabas told them to “turn from these vanities unto the living God.” In centuries past, God allowed all nations to walk in their own ways (v16). He gave them over to delusions and false religions because they had utterly rejected Him. From the beginning, mankind has wandered from God. Even when man has knowledge of God, he wants to go his own way.
The problem, therefore, is not ignorance but willful rebellion. “When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened...Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness...unto vile affections...unto a reprobate mind” (See Romans 1:21-32). God said in
Isaiah 66:3-4: “...They have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions...” False religions result from pride and a rejection of God.
When man brings God down, God brings man down, and He smites men with blindness and gives them over to strange spirits. Paul told the people to turn from these vanities and return to the living God. With all their pleading, they barely restrained the people from offering sacrifices unto them.
From Hero to Zero
14:19-20 “And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.” Man is fickle. At first the people in Lystra wanted to worship the apostles
but now they are stoning them. We should never live off the praises of people. People's emotions and opinions are as changeable as the weather. Live on God's approbation. He never changes.
The Apostles Retrace Their Steps / Confirm the Believers
14:21-22 “And when they had preached the gospel to that city [Derbe], and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Now the apostles are going to go back to all the cities where they have preached. From Derbe they are returning to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch of Pisidia. As ministers, we have to confirm and reaffirm people all the time. Unless people continue on in the faith they will go back.
Through Much Tribulation We Enter the Kingdom
Another secret of success in Paul's churches was the fact that he did not hide from them the truth about persecution. There is a ridiculous Gospel being preached today that says if you walk with God, you can be a millionaire. Paul taught, “Through much tribulation we enter the kingdom of God” (cf. 1 Thes. 3:4; 2 Tim. 3:12). If people want to have an easy life down here, they will not have much reward up there. The early Church knew they would have to pay a high price. Be honest and tell people the cost. Do not tell them that all their problems will disappear and they will live an easy life. If people accept Christ on false premises, when trouble comes they will be disillusioned and fall. Their latter state will be worse than their first. A gospel that preaches a life exempt from trouble is not the true Gospel. It is “another gospel...another spirit...another Jesus” (2 Cor.11:4).
The problem with the Church in America is that they talk about walking with God but know very little of what that means. There is a price to pay to be a real Christian. Either we are all out for God or we will end up being all for ourselves.
Elders Ordained in Every Church
14:23 “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” This verse shows us the need for designated leadership in every church. Every Church needs elders and one senior elder (pastor). There cannot be two heads in a church or there will be conflict and confusion. Even the Jewish synagogues had a “chief ruler” who governed God's house, and then other rulers (cf. Acts 18:8, 18:17).
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