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Whenever I'd goof off, he'd say, "Oh, you'll never amount to a hill of beans. It was wise because I always convinced myself, "I will to amount to a hill of beans. I've always had this fear that I would never really count for God and that's a haunting fear. I hope it's one with you. I hope you want to matter. I hope you want to be somebody who because you live there's difference. Well, as we look at these men in these two cities, we're gonna see the same features that illustrate to us in a double dose what the principles are that make a man, a man who changes the world.

Principle No. We'll see it in Thessalonica. We'll see it in exhibited in Berea. I want to go over again, before look at a passage, we have seen that courage and boldness was a part of the early church genius.

The Kingdom That Turned the World Upside Down by David W. Bercot | eBay

We saw from the very beginning how they would go into a town and they would go into a town and they would run into pressure and immediately they would get courageous, wouldn't they? And the more pressure, the more courage, the more courage, the more dynamic message they had. It was a fantastic ingredient in the ministry of the early church. It still is. Courage, boldness, fearlessness. The Apostle Paul had this. There's no question about it.

Over in Act , he says, "I go bound in the spirits of Jerusalem and I don't know what's gonna happen. He knew it was all gonna be bad.


He just didn't know what kind of bad. He said, "I didn't know it was gonna be bad. The Holy Spirit witnesses in every city saying that bonds and afflictions are awaiting me. But none of these things move me, neither count on my life dear onto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy and the ministry. I'm gonna finish the ministry God gave me to do if it kills me.

But you see, he was that kind of a man.

Christmas and a World Upside-Down

He was an undaunted man. Believe me - and this is so basic - no one ever, I'll say it again, no one ever really affects the world for Christ who doesn't have the courage of his conviction and the courage of his calling. You can be convicted about things, but if you're not willing to tell somebody about it, it doesn't do any good. You need not only the courage of your conviction, but the courage to carry out the calling God gave you. It is courageous people who make a difference. Look at verse 1 and let's see the courage illustrated. Well, they finished up in Philippi. They left.

You remember, they had made situations secure for the Christians here, Paul telling them that he was a Roman citizen and that kind of set things in order. They were scared of him from then on 'cause they had persecuted a Roman citizen, which was against the law. So the Christians were gonna be able to rest for a while at Philippi, so they press on. When they had passed through Amphipolis, now that was 33 miles from Philippi, they went from Amphipolis to Apollonia that was 30 miles from Amphipolis. And then they went to Thessalonica, which was 37 miles from Apollonia, which was 30 miles from Amphipolis, which was 33 miles - and don't you ever forget it - from Philippi.

What's the significance of that?

The significance of that is that they had minds set on Thessalonica. They probably stopped for the night in Apollonia and Amphipolis. If they went that way and did cover 30 miles a day and stayed overnight at those two places, which were perfect points - it is as some scholars tell us, evidence that Paul didn't walk everywhere he went.

He probably hired horses, which is an interesting thought. Nevertheless, they just stopped overnight at Amphipolis and Apllonia, likely, that isn't in the text.


That's a likely conclusion. Now, hang on. What had happened on the first missionary journey - every time Paul went into a town, where did he go first? The synagogue. And the what every time? One word that starts that with P. Every time they went to the synagogue, they got it. Now, there was a synagogue in Thessalonica - say, "Oh, oh, I'll bet he's learned" - look back in chapter Every time he got near a synagogue, wham, he got it. And that's right. He did.

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Chapter 13, verse 6, they had gone to - they met a sorcerer. In verse 6 of chapter 13, the first place they went, the island of Cyprus, they met a sorcerer who was a Jew. Every time they got close to the Jews, they got persecuted and confrontation with Satan. Go to verse It says that when they came into the area of Galatia, the whole place came together to hear the word, verse 44, "When the Jews saw the multitudes filled with envy, spoke against these things as were spoken by Paul and contradicting and blaspheming.

Look at verse The chief thiefs raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, expelled them out of their borders. Chapter 14, verse 1. There were some Jews who believed that just stirred up trouble. Verse 2. They fled in verse 6.

Putting an Upside-Down World Right-Side Up

Go down to verse They threw him out of the city of Lystra. Stoned them there. It was always the Jews, the Jews, the Jews, who persecuted Paul in his ministry. To say, "Well now, when he goes there at Thessalonica, boy, I'll bet he'll avoid that place. In unto whom?

The Jews and the synagogue.