Encouragement for your daily walk with God
One thing that Jesus taught His disciples is, being a Christ follower doesn’t always win friends and influence people. As a matter of fact, Jesus told His disciples that they would be hated because He was hated [see John 16.16; 15.23-25]. That’s because we preach a gospel that exposes the nature of their sin, and darkness just doesn’t like it [John 3.19].
Paul experienced this very thing. When he gave his testimony in Jerusalem, some Jews were ready to tear him limb from limb [Acts 23.10]. Roman soldiers, who had been given authority to watch over the Temple area, heard the commotion and rescued Paul from the angry crowd by arresting him and putting him in jail.
In the meantime, forty men made a pact that they would not eat until Paul was dead. When the commander of the guard was made aware of the plot to kill Paul, he took the threat seriously. It was his duty to keep his prisoners safe for trial. So, he gathered 200 soldiers, 70 horsemen, and 200 spearmen to guard one preacher! Then, in the cover of darkness, they took Paul to Caesarea, the Roman capital of Judea, about 75 miles away.
As I think about that account in Paul’s life, I’m reminded that when you preach sound doctrine, or give your powerful testimony of the saving grace of God, you can’t expect the world to love you. The world stands against God and will have nothing to do with Him. No, preaching the gospel doesn’t win friends and influence people. It rubs people the wrong way. Don’t let that stop you, though. Keep preaching the Word - in season and out of season!
And he called to him two of the centurions and said, “Get two hundred soldiers ready by the third hour of the night to proceed to Caesarea, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen.” Acts 23,23