“He (Paul) proclaimed the Kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ-with all BOLDNESS and without HINDRANCE.”
(Acts 28:31 NIV)
What is boldness? There are many New Testament passages which use this word directly especially in the book of Acts once the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. It is more of an idea of courage in the Old Testament, but it seems to be more than just courage. The technical definition is “a willingness to take risks and act innovately; confidence or courage” (Oxford Dictionary). So, courage is among the terms used to describe it. However, I return to the first section where it states “a willingness to take risks and act innovately”.
Paul definitely took risks and acted innovately in his ministry. He was truly unorthodox. His salvation experience was unorthodox. His taking the Gospel to the non-Jewish nations was unorthodox. His practice of the Judeo-Christian faith was unorthodox. There was nothing “normal” about Paul, and I love how Luke wrapped up the book of Acts by saying, “He(Paul) proclaimed the Kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ-with all BOLDNESS and without HINDRANCE”. Whether as a free man openly sharing the Gospel or as a prisoner sharing the Gospel with his “companions”(prison guards), Paul did so with boldness and without hindrance. Nothing stopped him!
As US citizens, we are fortunate to live in a country where we can openly share the Gospel. Yes, there are some inconveniences, but there are NOT any hindrances to our proclaiming and teaching about Jesus. If there are any, I believe, we place them on ourselves.
Recently, I’ve been reading about the pastors and families who live in what’s called the “Red Zone” of Colombia where the “Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia” (FARC) make their home. Their churches are told what to preach, how to distribute their offerings, when to close due to the preaching/teaching of the pastor, and to face physical and mental persecution on a daily basis.
About what do we as US pastors have to complain? “I don’t get paid enough.” “I don’t have enough time with my family and friends.” “ I don’t
have a week or 2 weeks paid vacation.” Truly, about what do we have to complain? I’m not saying that some pastorates aren’t more difficult than others, but tell the truth, do you have someone with an AK-47 in your church waiting for you to say the wrong thing??
As proclaimers and teachers of the Lord Jesus Christ, may we be bold and not allow anyone to hinder us from doing the work of the Kingdom of God! What does this mean? It means we need to pray together, to study His Word together, and not be in competition, but cooperate together. Notice how Paul did not upon depend himself to win the western world with the Gospel. He poured himself into men and women of strong Christian character who took the message of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. May we do the same!
Until Next Month,