In Acts 13:27 Paul makes a statement that I think is very applicable to today. Listen to what he says, “Because they did not understand the utterances of the prophets which were read to them every Sabbath, they fulfilled them by condemning Him (Jesus.)” In the world’s rejection of truth, and rejection of those who stand for truth, they are, and will continue to fulfill God’s prophetic words.
In 1 Timothy 3:1-7 Timothy tells us, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power… always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” If that isn’t a description of what we see in the world today, I am not sure what is.
In 2 Timothy 4:3-4 Timothy also said, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will find for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
In Acts 13 Paul and Barnabas went to the Synagogue first. That is where Paul preached these words. Acts 13:46 “And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you (Jews). Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.” Upon hearing this, the Gentiles began rejoicing and glorifying the word of God, and many believed. (Acts 13:48) In fact, they were so excited about the message, it says in Acts 13:44 that “almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord on the next Sabbath.”
As I read this, the question that came to my mind was, “What is it going to take for our nation to be that hungry for truth again?” Our founding fathers left their homes, and left their country, because they wanted the freedom to worship God freely and not have to follow the state controlled Church of England. It was that foundation that produced our constitution and our judicial system. Yet today, it is that very system that is moving toward persecuting that freedom for which we stood. Maybe God wants to bring us back to the hunger for truth again.
As Paul preached to this crowd, I was amazed by the details that he cited. (Act 13:17-25) He cited very specific things in the history of Israel. He used things that they would have known, and that they would have been taught often (Acts 13:27 utterance that were taught EVERY Sabbath). And, the people were prepared for the message. When they heard it they rejoiced and gathered in droves to hear it. (Acts 13:44, 48)
Here is what God is challenging me from these words.
- Pray that God will use the virus, current events, whatever He can, to renew a hunger for the truth.
- As believers, may we be like Paul and Barnabas, wise in what we say, in order to build hunger for the truth.
- Let’s also be praying for prepared hearts.
- Be asking God for the words to share with people, and for opportunities. And then boldness when those opportunities come.
I will be praying for you in these things. Please be praying for me in these things too!