ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 98


priest of the temple and the crowd brought bulls and wreaths of flowers to
the town gates, and they prepared to offer sacrifices to the apostles.
But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening, they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people,
shouting, “Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings—just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you
should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who
made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. In the past he
permitted all the nations to go their own ways, but he never left them
without evidence of himself and his goodness. For instance, he sends
you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts.” But even
with these words, Paul and Barnabas could scarcely restrain the people
from sacrificing to them.
Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowds
to their side. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of town, thinking he
was dead. But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went
back into the town.
The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.
After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples,
Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia,
where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue
in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter
the Kingdom of God. Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every
church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care
of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. Then they traveled back
through Pisidia to Pamphylia. They preached the word in Perga, then went
down to Attalia.
Finally, they returned by ship to Antioch of Syria, where their journey
had begun. The believers there had entrusted them to the grace of God
to do the work they had now completed. Upon arriving in Antioch, they
called the church together and reported everything God had done through
them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, too. And
they stayed there with the believers for a long time.
While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea
arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as
required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Paul and Barnabas
disagreed with them, arguing vehemently. Finally, the church decided to
send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, accompanied by some local believers, to talk to the apostles and elders about this question. The church sent
the delegates to Jerusalem, and they stopped along the way in Phoenicia

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