Paul and Silas show us how to reach cities for Christ. Their work in Thessalonica made an eternal difference in the worst of circumstances.
Acts 17 tells us what happened after the missionaries left the bitter-sweet experience at Philippi. Paul and Silas experienced a terrible beating in Philippi but saw God work both in prison and in the city. Thessalonica showed the same elements without the beating. Thessalonica was the city where those opposed to the gospel declared that the missionaries had turned the world upside down.
May you and I do the same.
First, notice the strategy of Paul and Silas. They went to the places and people most likely to hear the gospel. These were Jews in the synagogues. Very likely, Paul and Silas passed up places without synagogues, such as Amphipolis and Appollonia. They carried the gospel to those who were most open and depended on those who believed to carry the message to others.
Second, notice the intensity of the missionaries. They spent three weeks reasoning, explaining, proving, and proclaiming (Acts 17: 2-3). No wonder Luke described such an abundant number of converts in Thessalonica. “Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women” (Acts 17:4).
Third, notice the opposition they faced. Someone said a long time ago that wherever Paul went he either started a revival or a riot. Actually, in Thessalonica and most other places, he started both (Acts 17:5-9). In spite of the opposition, Paul and Silas, as well as citizens of Thessalonica such as Jason, continued in the faith in spite of the opposition. Doing things right and being a faithful witness will always stir opposition.
We are called to be faithful in all things and in all circumstances. When we set up a good strategy and follow it, live and witness intensely, and carry on in spite of opposition, we can take a city by storm.
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