Crisis Will Bring Growth
So today, we are going to learn that within the church, a crisis will bring growth.
Acts 11:19-30, Acts 12:25 – 13:3
A Crisis Will Bring Growth
About the Story
If you remember from last week, the apostles sent Saul to Tarsus, his hometown, and then the church experienced a time of peace. During that time, the Church grew significantly.
That’s right, after the persecution and death of Stephen, the church dispersed and preached every mostly to their fellow Jews, though. Except for in Antioch, where they also preached to the gentiles.
Hold on! Explain the word, Gentile.
For the sake of time, I will keep it very simple. A gentile is a person who is not Jewish. Now, this is where the story begins. Saul in Tarsus, the church is growing, and there is a very new thing, people other than jews, gentiles are becoming believers in Christ and joining this movement.
Suppose you were going to choose to be a follower of Christ. You had to make sure it was the right decision. It was dangerous to be a Christian at that time. This danger and persecution was a crisis for all believers. This careful consideration of the cost of following Christ created a deep commitment to Christ.Tweet
So, the lesson for today, a crisis will bring growth. The church in Antioch and all of the world at this point saw devastating persecution. Sometimes from the Jewish religious leaders and at other times from the Roman Empire. They had all heard about Stephen’s murder, and more recently, they had all heard about how King Herod Agrippa killed James, the brother of John.
Suppose you were going to choose to be a follower of Christ. You had to make sure it was the right decision. It was dangerous to be a Christian at that time. This danger and persecution was a crisis for all believers. This careful consideration of the cost of following Christ created a deep commitment to Christ.
The church in Antioch was responding well to the crisis. They were meeting together in prayer, worship and fasting. Teachers and prophets were encouraging, challenging and teaching the people. I mean, they were putting in a lot of time and hard work into their relationship with Jesus.
That’s right, and God blessed them as they spent time together with God. They were growing inwardly and outwardly. Inwardly they were becoming more and more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and promptings, and outwardly, more people were becoming believers by the day.
Those were exciting days to be a follower of Christ, and they were dangerous times. If the church and you and I respond well to God, then a crisis will bring growth.