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God Says No!

Can you believe that a God-called evangelist was told “No” by God when he attempted to spread the Gospel in the early days of the church? This didn’t just happen once, either! It happened at least twice! Even more astounding is the fact that this God-called evangelist was none other than the great apostle Paul! We have the record of this amazing fact in the Book of Acts, chapter 16, when God’s Word itself records, “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.” (Ac.16:6-8, NKJV)

But, that is not the end of the story! We who know the Lord, know that He is not out to stop His Word from getting out but to spread it far and wide. Yet He knows who is ready for it as well as who should be the evangelist, or the bringer of the good news of His Son to a certain people. When we read on a little further, we see that the same Holy Spirit who stopped Paul from preaching the Gospel in these other places then led them to Macedonia to preach there, and this became one of the greatest experiences for Paul in his preaching of any of the places he preached!

But, there is also something interesting and wonderful about this for you and me! Macedonia is a part of Europe and no doubt, when the Gospel eventually spread to Europe, it also began going toward America. Thank God, He knew America needed the Gospel as much as anybody has ever needed it! But the truth is we all need it! Whether we are in China, Japan, Denmark, or wherever, everybody needs the Gospel! Which brings us back to the question of why did God stop Paul from preaching in Asia and Bithynia, among some other places? Didn’t they need it too? Of course they did, and when we get over to Peter’s first Epistle, we see him introducing himself: “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia…”(Emphasis added). So, the Gospel did get to Asia and Bithynia, God just knew that Peter needed to be the one to get it to them, while Paul was the man for Macedonia! Isn’t that exciting? There is much more exciting truth to be learned from the Book of Acts, and the BBN BI is excited to offer a 2-part course on this great Book taught by Dr. G. Campbell Morgan. These courses are numbers 32800 and 32900 respectively. We believe you will be blessed as you see God’s working in the early church as we know He is the same God we serve today!

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Written By:   David Wyatt    Date Posted:  1/19/2009 4:15 PM
Number of Views:  5787

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