Tribulations and the Kingdom: Acts 14: 19-28
Scripture: Acts 14:19-28
The class begins by emphasizing the nature of the honor/shame societies of the ancient near east. The honor/shame dynamics are such that mobs could form quickly and that they were often fickle. This is what happened to Paul when at first they wanted to declare he and Barnabas “gods” and build shrines. Not much later a mob formed that stoned Paul (the passage we cover in this class). Jesus Christ had sent Ananias in Acts 9:16 to tell Paul that he “must” suffer for the name of Christ. Not only is suffering something that happens to gospel preachers, it is part of God’s purpose. We also address the errors of the social gospel that fails to take seriously the antithetical relationship between the church and the world. All Christians face tribulations because God takes us out of the world and makes us His own people. That is why the world hates us. In our section of Acts Paul also visited previous places, gathered the flock of encouragement, and commended them to God’s grace. We mention that there was not “world headquarters” and that attempts to establish one in church history are misguided. We need to be committed to scripture alone and define the local church and church authorities biblically.