how to talk to your daughter about dating - Worship 4 today pt 3 consolidating and expanding horizons

Antioch was a strategic city, the third largest in the Roman empire. About five miles outside the city was the temple of Daphne, where sex was enthroned and worshipped through priestesses who were really religious prostitutes. Yet in the midst of its corruption this new church had arisen, and Barnabas was sent to discover what was going on.It was noted all over the empire as a sports center. If you have read Ben Hur, or have seen the movie, you know that it is in Antioch that Lew Wallace places the exciting chariot race which is the prominent feature of that novel. The three reasons they chose Barnabas are given: (1) he was a good man, (2) full of the Spirit, (3) full of faith.

worship 4 today pt 3 consolidating and expanding horizons-79

Worship 4 today pt 3 consolidating and expanding horizons

Yet the very next words say that some, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Greeks, to the Gentiles, preaching the Lord Jesus.

And notice when: It was at the time of the persecution that broke out over Stephen, the first martyr of the church.

Since they were themselves Jews, raised in the tradition that they were God's chosen people, you can imagine what happened.

They never thought that God would move to reach the Gentile world and so they hardly knew what to make of it. He had one of the largest hearts recorded in all of the New Testament.

" Where does it first break through this rigid racial barrier, this prejudice of Jew toward Gentile (what Paul later calls "this middle wall of partition") which stood like a Berlin Wall, dividing them and keeping them from any vital contact?

Some say it was when the Ethiopian eunuch was converted, as recorded in Chapter 8.

The wonderful thing is that it was carried by obscure, unknown men and women. When the persecution arose they were scattered abroad.

They were Jews who had been converted to Christianity.

"Good man" means more than simply that he behaved himself. He was an easy-going, cheerful, open-hearted, gracious individual.

He has appeared this way to us already in the pages of Acts.

When word came to them that Gentiles were becoming converts of Jesus Christ, they were utterly astounded. Was it possible that Gentiles could actually come to Christ just as a Jew could? To settle the issue, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. He did not come to attempt to control this new thrust by the Holy Spirit; he came down to investigate it, to see what God had been doing.

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