Faithful Gospel declaration!
Scripture reading for June 2nd: Acts 20
After leaving a pastorate of fourteen years, I understand that parting is hard, even for believers who know that eternity awaits and we will be together forever. Before departing Asia for Jerusalem, Paul sent for the elders to join him in Miletus and he spoke to them there, giving them a strong message and warning.
“You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both the Jews and the Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.” (Acts 20:18-21) Paul’s ministry there was marked by humility and tears. He served humbly and wept for the lost and needy in Asia. He boldly declared the simple Gospel of repentance (turning from self to Christ) and faith in Jesus. He did this publicly and personally in their homes when invited.
Paul ended his farewell with a warning: “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!” (Acts 20:29-31) Luke recorded that they wept and prayed together as Paul departed, saying “that they would never see his face again.” (Acts 20:38) Paul fully declared the Gospel as an example for us!