Bullets From The Bible 12-06-17
In yesterday’s BFTB, Paul and Barnabas, when trouble was stirred up against them, they shook the dust off of their feet and moved on.
The next location they went was Iconium. Have you ever wondered how things went for them after they moved on? They moved on because the people were they were at were not listening to truth. Iconium was a little better...but not much.
Acts 14:1-6 says, “Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed.
 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.
 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
 But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
 And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them,
 they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region.”
In Iconium once again they spoke the truth. They confirmed it with signs and miracles. Yet even with the miracles the city was divided and only some of them believed. The Jews who didn’t believe tried to poison the minds of the believers. The Jews even got to the point that they were ready to stone Paul and Barnabas, so once again Paul and Barnabas fled. Yet even though they were persecuted and run out of Iconium, they still were able to teach the truth and convince many of the people. Ironically, the Jews should have been the ones most willing to listen as they were people of God. Yet their failure to recognize Jesus as the Messiah led them to vehemently oppose any Christian teaching.
While our world today typically does not stone people, it is still much the same. Anytime truth is taught there is going to be one group that believes it and one group that hates the truth and the person speaking it. The easiest thing for the unbelievers to do is to rally support and run the one speaking truth away. Truth can be inconvenient, troublesome, and require change. People unwilling to change will grow to hate the truth that tells them they are wrong.
Now, the difficult thing is that at some point in everyone’s life they are going to face an inconvenient truth. The common and easy thing to do is to reject the truth, persecute the truth bearer, and drive them out of your presence. Yet this option leads you further from truth and hinders others from hearing truth. The right thing to do is to change to support truth. This might require a complete change of life. It might require great sacrifice and most likely will also place you in the cross hairs of those who hate truth.
Now, the ones who hate truth the most and cause the most trouble are not the ones you would typically suspect. In Bible times I would have suspected more trouble from Rome than from the Jews. Yet it was typically the Jews, the religious people who were stirring up trouble. In today’s world one would typically expect trouble to come from atheists and liberals, And sometimes it does. Yet typically the people fighting truth are other groups of religious people who don’t want to hear that they are wrong.
Truth is not always an easy pill to swallow. Yet that truth is the only thing that will set us free. Truth is the only thing that will lead to salvation. Instead of persecuting the truth bearer, believe truth and support it!
Paul and Barnabas were run out of Iconium, but they are not done teaching truth. Read tomorrow to see what happens to them next.