Troubles Along The Way

Text: Acts 19:8-9

With all of the good spoken about “the way,” in the New Testament, it is not all good. There are difficulties that come by following this path. The rewards of following “the way” are worth it, but we do need to see the complete picture. So in this lesson, we will discuss the troubles that come from following “the way.”

Speaking Evil of The Way

  • In Ephesus, Paul first preached in the synagogue, but left when he faced opposition (Acts 19:8-9) – this was not a cowardly move, he was trying to do what would be most effective; “the way” may be “spoken against everywhere” (Acts 28:22); yet the gospel can still spread, even when others speak against it (Acts 19:10; 28:30-31)
  • Opponents of truth will resort to carnal tactics when they cannot give a reasonable answer – slander (1 Peter 2:12; Acts 28:22); misrepresentation (Romans 3:8; Acts 24:5, 14); say we are out of our minds (Acts 26:24)
  • They must do this because the truth destroys the arguments of error (2 Corinthians 10:5) – if we are going to be of “the way,” we must be prepared for people to talk bad about us

Disturbances Along The Way

  • There was “no small disturbance” that occurred in Ephesus as a result of Paul’s preaching (Acts 19:23) – not caused by Paul, but led by Demetrius the silversmith (Acts 19:24-32)
  • When these disturbances happen, it should not be the disciples who are instigating them – we must strive to “be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18); be quiet and mind our own business (1 Thessalonians 4:11)
  • In Thessalonica, Paul and Silas were accused of turning the world upside down (Acts 17:6) – this was the perception, but was not completely accurate; the world was turned upside down by sin (Romans 5:12); “the way” is to fix this (Romans 6:23, 17-18)
  • We are to pursue peace when possible (Romans 12:18) – sometimes it is not possible without compromising the truth; we must continue to follow the way and value peace with God more than peace with men (Galatians 1:10; John 12:42-43)

Persecution of The Way

  • Saul went to Damascus to find those of “the Way” and arrest them (Acts 9:1-2) – this began with the death of Stephen (Acts 8:1-3); those who were scattered went out preaching (Acts 8:4)
  • We must be willing to take up our cross, even if it means losing our lives (Luke 9:23-24) – when we become a disciple, we are presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1); we must be faithful until death (Revelation 2:10), even if it means death
  • Persecution in some form is a certainty (2 Timothy 3:12) – because we are not of this world (John 15:18-20); so we should not be surprised (1 Peter 4:12); when we suffer as a Christian, we are to glorify God (1 Peter 4:16; Acts 5:40-41)

Conclusion

  • Before making the decision to follow Christ, we must count the cost (Luke 14:28) – there will be difficulties, but it is absolutely worth it
  • After we become part of “the way,” we must never forget the commitment that we made – we will face hardships, but we can/must endure them; if we do, there will be a great reward

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