2. Confrontation with the forces of evil

raphael071.jpg I'm reading through Schnabel's commentary on Acts. Here's the second lesson he draws from Acts 13. The story of Paul and Barnabas on Cyprus teaches us that missionary-missional-missions work involves confrontation with the forces of evil and their representatives.

The magician Elymas is punished for his deceit and his active involvement in perverting the will of God. The punishment is temporary, leaving open the possibility of a future conversion of the opponent. At the same time the miracle calls the witnesses of Elymas’ punishment to a decision concerning their own reaction to the message of the gospel.

Notice how proclaiming the gospel is what stirs up this confrontation. We don't find Paul and Barnabas walking through Cyprus praying down the forces of evil without, at the same time, proclaiming the gospel. Prayer alone is never enough.

Assignment: read through Acts and look for the link between prayer and the advance of the gospel despite opposition from evil forces and their representatives.

Tomorrow: Local church