What is church? – Going through hardships – Acts 14

What is church? – Going through hardships – Acts 14

Acts 14

At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into
the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively
that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed.
2But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up
the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the
brothers. 3So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable
time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed
the message of his grace by enabling them to do
miraculous signs and wonders. 4The people of the city
were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the
apostles. 5There was a plot afoot among the Gentiles
and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them
and stone them. 6But they found out about it and fled to
the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding
country, 7where they continued to preach the
good news.
In Lystra and Derbe
8In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who
was lame from birth and had never walked. 9He listened
to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at
him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10and called out,
“Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up
and began to walk.
11When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they
shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have
come down to us in human form!” 12Barnabas they
called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he
was the chief speaker. 13The priest of Zeus, whose temple
was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths
to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer
sacrifices to them.
14But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of
this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the
crowd, shouting: 15“Men, why are you doing this? We
too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you
good news, telling you to turn from these worthless
things to the living God, who made heaven and earth
and sea and everything in them. 16In the past, he let all
nations go their own way. 17Yet he has not left himself
without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving
you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he
provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts
with joy.” 18Even with these words, they had difficulty
keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
19Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium
and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged
him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20But after
the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and
went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas
left for Derbe.
The Return to Antioch in Syria
21They preached the good news in that city and won
a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra,
Iconium and Antioch, 22strengthening the disciples
and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.
“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom
of God,” they said. 23Paul and Barnabas appointed
elders d for them in each church and, with prayer and
fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had
put their trust. 24After going through Pisidia, they came
into Pamphylia, 25and when they had preached the
word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
26From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where
they had been committed to the grace of God for the
work they had now completed. 27On arriving there, they
gathered the church together and reported all that God
had done through them and how he had opened the
door of faith to the Gentiles. 28And they stayed there a
long time with the disciples.

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