Together Through Troublemakers & Persecution

Together Through Troublemakers & Persecution

 

Acts 21:27-30 (ESV) ~ When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place. Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut.

 

We see here troublemakers twisting the truth in order to secure their way. The troublemakers were outsiders who were attending services at the Tabernacle. The outsiders attacked and grabbed Paul and stood him before the worshipping multitudes crying out three charges against him, all of them false. They cried out…

  • that he insulted the Jewish people, turning the world against the Jews. Paul had said only that being a Jew (or another nationality) would not save a person.
  • that he taught the law of Moses, with its customs and rituals, was not binding. Paul had said the law was not binding upon Gentiles, not for salvation & 
  • that he polluted the temple and taught against it. Paul had said that men could worship God anyplace and everyplace, not just in the temple.
  • Note: they accused Paul of taking a Gentile, Trophimus, into one of the inner courts of the temple. This was forbidden, and Paul would never have done such a thing. But these troublemakers would not be stopped even if they had to stretch and twist the truth.

 

 

Outsiders are sometimes guilty of causing trouble in the church, but too often the trouble experienced by churches is caused by insiders—professing believers who seek their own way, who are bent on getting their own way and keeping the church like they want it.

 

1 Corinthians 3:3 (ESV) ~ for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

 

James 3:16 (ESV) ~ For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

 

 

Too often custom and ritual are allowed to replace Christ in the church, something that never should be allowed to happen. The critical issue is salvation and service, the fulness of God upon a life. Whatever is needed to bring about commitment and service to God is what should be used by a person and church. If ritual and custom help us in our worship, then we should use ritual and custom; if they do not help, then we should not use them.

 

 

Matthew 23:23 (ESV) ~ Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

 

2 Timothy 3:5 (ESV) ~ having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
 
Pastor Andy Lambert

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