Acts 19-8-9. Paul is converted in Acts 9 and then 10 chapters later, the message has spread to the point that their religion is known as the WAY, and they publicly maligned these weirdos. Jesus called himself the way, the truth, the life and now those who followed Christ were called “Christians” (or mini-Christs) at around this time at the church in Antioch. Those who follow the WAY.
I think that is cool. The early believers were so passionate and radical in the way they lived that they were known by non-believers as people of the WAY. Sounds like Jedi Masters who are people of the Force. The Way. Let’s not be afraid to stand out for the sake of Christ.
In fact, the more you stand up for Christ in the world, the more opposition that you will face.
This is one principle we clearly see throughout Acts. As the kingdom of God advances, there is a resulting clash with the kingdom of Satan.
Paul/Silas – wherever they went, large crowds would gather and many would be saved.
Acts 13:44-52 – this happened in Pisidian Antioch where crowds gather at Paul/Baranabas’ teaching but Jews incite unrest.
Acts 17:4-5 – we see this happening again at Thessalonica – some Jews, Greeks, and some prominent women were being saved. At the same time, a mob started a riot and wanted to inflict bodily damage on Paul/Silas.
Acts 17:10-13 – same principle in Berea – work of God was advancing and an angry mob was after them.
Same pattern over and over — the work of God followed closely behind by the work of Satan. 2 kingdoms clashing. Wherever the kingdom of God is advancing, Satan is right there trying to trip us up.
No wonder when Paul was being called, Jesus said that Paul would have to suffer greatly for my name. We should not be surprised when there is suffering, when there are roadblocks, when things are not going our way. It could be a sign that we are on Satan’s radar.
Rather, if our life is all smooth sailing, maybe we are not living like people of the Way and because Satan is not threatened by us, he can leave us be.