But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. [Acts 14:2]
Paul and his associates were preaching the Gospel in Iconium where many hearts were being turned to the Lord. The church was growing and people were turning away from their previous ways of life. But there were many who opposed Paul and the others; opposing the Good New of Jesus. So they tried to “poison the minds” of those who believed. Eventually, those who opposed the message tried to stone Paul and his crew but when they learned of the plot they fled to Lystra. At Lystra Paul proclaimed the Gospel but people from Iconium came and stirred up the people and this time they stoned Paul to “death”. But of course Paul did not die. Instead he continued proclaiming the Good News and then moved on.
There are many today who oppose the Good News of Jesus by trying to “poison the minds” of those who believe AND don’t believe. There are many who are going to try to steer you away from serving Christ. There are going to be many who are going to try to convince you that regular Sunday worship is not important. The media will continue to “poison” minds through inaccurate and biased reporting of Christians. The government and other groups will “poison” minds through oppressive rhetoric and legislation. And believe it or not, there are and will be many within the church or those who claim to be Christians that will “poison” minds through false teaching.
So many detractors out there. So much poison.
But what should our response be to those who would oppose the Gospel? Paul did not fight or argue or fire unsavory words at his detractors. When people oppose the message of Jesus; when people try to “poison your mind”; fire back in kind; “poison” their mind and heart with the Gospel.
Continue to live your faith.
Continue to announce forgiveness.
Continue to show love.
Continue to be bold.
Continue to walk in the Way and don’t not bend to popular opinion.
Your determination (the Holy Spirit working in your life) will give power to your words and actions but don’t stoop to the level of those who would “poison” you. Instead, rise up and boldly proclaim the name of Jesus. Don’t let detractors dictate your message. Don’t let opposition steer your path. Don’t let the fear of man control you but rather the fear of God.
The Good News is that God can not be opposed. Actually, God has already won through Jesus Christ. The enemy has already been defeated. Opposition is irrelevant.
So choose your “poison”, but choose wisely; for only one leads to eternal life.
Praise be to God and Amen.
The Pastor -|—