Can You Be Stopped?

by J. Randal Matheny, editor

Some of the Jews came together with only one thing in mind — to stop Paul. They took him to court.
Acts 18:12b PEB

I find this version’s rendering of the verse almost humorous. Often, the mere threat of suing someone is enough to stop the person from pursuing a course of action.
Though the Jews took Paul to court, they lost their case. Gallio threw out their complaint and them with it.
Earlier, Paul had been guaranteed success by the Lord himself. At times, he used a court appearance to preach the gospel. This time, he never got the chance; the governor didn’t want to be bothered with trivial Jewish arguments.
Nor did it bother him that the Jews beat Sosthenes, ruler of the synagogue, right in front of his tribunal. As long as his agenda wasn’t delayed by their shenannigans.
But the gospel progressed, Paul went on his journeys, the church was strengthened.
Once, Paul was in chains, but “the word of God is not bound,” he declared (2 Timothy 2:9 ESV).
The gospel cannot be stopped.
But sometimes we can. We let inconvenient situations, politicial instability, economic crises, keep us from sharing the gospel.
At the hint of a lawsuit, we’re ready to pack it in.
The issue is not if the gospel will get into the world. The question is whether or not we will accompany it, whether we will be its bearers, or attempt its burial.
Can you be cowed?

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