A People Divided
So many bad ideas and theology come into the church because some people find the message of the word of God rejected by some and as a result think this message should be changed. The thinking is—if people don’t like the message, we need to find a different one.
In Acts 14:1-7 you’ll see that the Gospel message preached by Paul and Barnabas caused division in Iconium. Paul and Barnabas should be considered a pretty good preaching team. They were so well taught in the Bible that they wrote some of it. And not only are Paul and Barnabas preaching, there are also miracles. God attends and bears witness to the word of his grace with signs and wonders. People are being healed. There are amazing things happening. And still some people hated it.
The prince of this world can blind the minds of unbelievers. God can harden their hearts too.
We need to understand this so we don’t make it one of our ministry non-negotiables–that we cannot upset anyone or ever be the source of controversy. We should not presume that the effect of our ministry will naturally be for everyone to hold hands and sing songs together.
The Holy Spirit had Luke record all of these examples in his gospel and the book of Acts so that we would not be surprised when the gospel causes division.
It’s not wrong that followers of Christ should desire to live quietly and at peace with all men, but this good must be always be in submission to the greater goods of love, truth, and faithfulness to the gospel.