The Prophecies of Agabus

Text: Acts 11:27-28

There are just two verses in the Bible containing prophecies of Agabus – one is a summary, another is a quote. Is there anything can we possibly learn from him? Absolutely! This lesson will examine Agabus and see what lessons we can learn from this man and his prophecies.

The Work of Prophets

  • Agabus was one of several prophets in Jerusalem (Acts 11:27-28) – prophets played an important role in the beginnings of the church (Ephesians 2:19-20; 4:11-13); they revealed the secret things of God (Amos 3:7; Revelation 10:7)
  • However, some prophets did not teach the truth (2 Peter 2:1) – therefore, those who teach on spiritual matters must have their message tested (1 John 4:1)
  • There are no prophets like Agabus today – the gift of prophecy ceased when God’s word was fully revealed (1 Corinthians 13:8-10)

The Work of the Church

  • Agabus’ first prophecy – a famine would severely impact the brethren in Judea; the brethren in Antioch responded (Acts 11:27-30)
  • Churches are authorized to engage in the work of benevolence – limited to helping Christians (Acts 11:29; Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 8:4); individuals may also help non-Christians (Galatians 6:10), but churches are not authorized to do so
  • This benevolence was carried out by sending funds to the elders in the affected churches (Acts 11:30) – they oversee a particular congregation (Acts 20:28)

The Work of Preaching

  • Agabus’ second prophecy – Paul would be arrested in Jerusalem (Acts 21:10-14); this also came to pass (Acts 21:33)
  • All Christians need to be willing to face persecution (1 Peter 4:12,16) – we should even rejoice because of our reward (Matthew 5:10-12)
  • The gospel must be taught, even in the face of persecution – not ideal (1 Timothy 2:2-4), but necessary; can still be effective (Acts 8:4-5; 16:23-24,29-34)

Work in the Face of Difficulties

  • Both of Agabus’ prophecies had to do with trouble that was coming – famine and Paul’s imprisonment
  • Yet both cases were used for good – helping brethren in need and spreading the gospel
  • In his life, Paul was more concerned with the progress of the gospel than his physical well-being (Philippians 1:12-18)
  • During difficult times, it can be easy to focus on negative things – look for things you can do in God’s service despite the circumstances that exist around you

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