Bowie Apostolic Church
Acts 22: What if Some Do Not Believe
by From the Pastor's Desk on February 22nd, 2013

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Acts 22:17 “When I had returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. 20 And when the blood of Stephen your witness was being shed, I myself was standing by and approving and watching over the garments of those who killed him.’ 21 And he said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ” 22 Up to this word they listened to him. Then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live.” 23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24 the tribune ordered him to be brought into the barracks, saying that he should be examined by flogging, to find out why they were shouting against him like this. 
After Paul is apprehended, we see that Paul asks the tribunal to have an opportunity to say something. What Paul begins to do is something that is always encouraged when it comes to sharing your faith. He starts with sharing his experience as it relates to how he came to know Jesus Christ. Or in his case, how Christ searched him out, personally. I know the circumstances surrounding Paul’s arrest are out of the norm of our daily lives. Remember, when it comes to the area of personal rights (religious, human and civil rights), the 1st century Roman Empire falls woefully short of today’s American standards. We still have some protections these days, although they are slowly eroding. However little freedom he had Paul boldly pushed it beyond the limits on multiple occasions.

The words of Paul exemplify the power of personal testimony. It is one thing to talk about a God who loves us all, but some people don’t believe in a God at all. But when the power of the Holy Spirit is a witness to our testimony of what He has done in our lives and He is this God, who is anyone to tell you this didn’t happen to you? There is a difference between postulating about  a God and bearing witness to this God. When people sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit through your testimony (and He does bear witness to what you say), the power of God cannot be argued with. That does not mean they will let go of their pride and believe. It doesn’t even mean they will confess that there is some validity to your statements. It doesn’t mean they won’t bark back at you with ridicule as if they felt nothing. But, tell them anyway.

Paul asked the question to the Romans “For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. Romans 3:3-4a” This is the attitude of one who acknowledges that you can’t win everybody. This is the attitude of one that is not deterred by the violence of the unbeliever, let alone the mocking of the unbeliever. This is the attitude of the person is looking for the hungry who has been waiting for someone to tell the same testimony that someone else rejected.

There are so many people in this world who are hurting. They are bitter, angry and unfulfilled. They are reading self-help books to no avail. You mean to tell me that when we tell them about our experience of how God filled us with joy and removed our bitterness, anger and fear of life that it will not strike a chord with them? Well what if they don’t believe…. right then and there? What if they believe later? What if they believe the next person that witnesses to them because it added to what you said? Paul talked about this with the Corinthians. He said in so many words that one plants the seed of the Gospel, another waters the seed of the Gospel, but God gives the increase from that (1 Corinthians 3:6-9). This tells me that just because someone does not believe when I say something, does not mean that I didn’t plant a seed. Many times we look for immediate increase from a seed. It doesn’t happen with an apple tree and it will not always happen with the Gospel. But tell it anyway!


Posted in Acts, Bible 2013    Tagged with gospel, Paul, holy spirit


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