Dear RCF Sisters and Brothers,
I don’t know about you, but my life has not gone the way I thought it would go. That is true for the overall path of my life, but also true for many of the smaller episodes within it. Often when circumstances led me to believe that the near-term future would be dark and difficult, things changed and everything turned out far better than I expected. This was the case when the Apostle Paul traveled from ancient Athens to the city of Corinth.
When Paul left Athens he was physically and emotionally tired due to his past labors, fearful that his new converts would forsake faith in Christ due to the orchestrated opposition against the Gospel, and trembling because beatings and prison were likely to be the outcome of his witness. In addition, Corinth was the Las Vegas of its day with rampant immorality and idolatry. He could find camaraderie among the Jews of Corinth, but it was the Jews who had been vigorously promoting his persecution. His anticipation that the results of his ministry in Corinth would be daunting was reasonable.
However, what actually occurs in Corinth is far better than Paul would have ever imagined. He was correct to believe that the Jews would oppose him and his message about Jesus, but it would not lead to physical harm or being expelled from the city. He saw a large number of people come to faith in Christ there and enjoyed his longest ministry in any location. In addition, it was in Corinth he learned that the large group of God-fearing Greeks in Thessalonica were thriving spiritually in spite of the focussed opposition of the Jews in that town.
So, although Paul entered Corinth very discouraged he would depart over eighteen months later refreshed and optimistic. He was grateful for what God had done and for the fruitful ministry God blessed in that city. His worst fears never materialized.
That will be the same with you. It may be reasonable at times for you to dread the short-term future, but God nearly always makes it far better than your dismal forecast. That was true for Paul in Corinth in 51 AD, and it will be true for you in 2021 AD.
Join us this Sunday morning as we continue in the theme To The Remotest Part of the Earth, and our Discussion Bible Study in the History of the Early Church. Please prepare by reading Acts 18:1-18a. This week we will examine and discuss that title “The Gospel Comes to Sin City – Part 2”.
Attached is an outline (in two sizes) of the text we will be focusing upon this Sunday morning. Please print it ahead of time, as it will help you take part in the discussion. We will also have copies when we gather on Sunday morning.
Here are the Table Discussion Questions for Sunday:
As you reflect upon 2021, for what are you most grateful to God?
In this series we have already discussed the following texts and topics:
The New Community Begins: Acts 2:24-47
The First Official Pushback Is Pushed Back: Acts 3
The First Official Pushback Is Pushed Back – Part 2: Acts 4
God Elevates His Purity and His Principals: Acts 5:1-11
God Elevates His Purity and His Principals – Part 2: Acts 5:12 – 6:7
The Spark That Ignited The Flames of Persecution – Part 1: Acts 6:8 – 7:43
The Spark That Ignited The Flames of Persecution – Part 2: Acts 7:44 – 8:3
The New Community’s Pearl Harbor: Acts 8:1-25
Going Global: Taking The New Community International: Acts 8:26-40
Going Global: Taking The New Community International: Acts 9:1-25
Not “E Pluribus Unum”, But “Nos, Et Nos Nos”: Acts 9:26-31
The Border Crisis: God’s Path For Foreigners To Become Citizens: Acts 9:32-10:33
The Border Crisis: God’s Path For Foreigners To Become Citizens – Part 2: Acts 10:34-11:30
Uncivil Rest – Part 1: Acts 12:1-17
Uncivil Rest – Part 2: Acts 12:18-25
How The West Was Won…To Christ: Acts 13
How The West Was Won…To Christ – Part 2: Acts 13
How The Gospel Was Almost Lost…From Grace – Part 1: Galatians
How The Gospel Was Almost Lost…From Grace – Part 2: Galatians
The Gentile Question” Must Be Answered: Acts 15 & Galatians
A Church “Council” Answers “The Gentile Question”: Acts 15:1-35
The Western Expansion Continues – Part 2: Acts 16:13-40
The Good News Gets Tailored To The Western Worldview: Acts 171-10a
Witnessing For Christ In The Garden Of Good And Evil: Acts 17:18-23
Destroying Ideas Erected Against The Reality Of God: Acts 17: 24-34
The Gospel Comes To Sin City: Acts 18:1
We hope that you will join us online this Sunday morning at Bay Lodge at 9:25am!
We love you all!
Jim and Jenny
Acts of the Apostles – Part 31 Outline (PDF)