Chapter Nineteen — Part Two: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 07/24/2022Foundation Scriptures:
1. Three Months.
a. Acts 19:8 AMPC — And he went into the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, persuading and arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God.
b. Paul preached boldly in the synagogue for a period of three months.
c. He preached about the Kingdom of God—the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
d. Disputing (Greek dialegomai) — to say thoroughly; dispute; reason; reason with; preach; preach unto; speak; to think different things with one’s self, mingle thought with thought; to ponder, revolve in mind; to converse, discourse with one, argue, discuss.
e. Persuading (Greek peithō) — to convince (by argument); to pacify or conciliate; to persuade or be persuaded; trust; obey; believe; have confidence; be confident; to make friends of, to win one’s favor, gain one’s good will, or to seek to win one; to believe or have faith in something or someone; to listen to, yield to, comply with.
f. Paul preached out of compassion for their eternal souls.
g. He worked to convince their mind and judgement and bring conviction to their conscience and heart—so that they could both believe and have a reason to believe.
h. He used logical arguments, disputed, answered objections, asked them questions, and answered theirs, and gave scriptural reasons why they should believe.
i. 2 Corinthians 5:11a AMPC — Therefore, being conscious of fearing the Lord with respect and reverence, we seek to win people over [to persuade them].
j. He wanted them not only to see and understand, but to recognize how it applied to them personally, and for them to receive and apply it to themselves.
k. 1 Thessalonians 2:2-4 AMPC — But though we had already suffered and been outrageously treated at Philippi, as you know, yet in [the strength of] our God we summoned courage to proclaim to you unfalteringly the good news (the Gospel) with earnest contention and much conflict and great opposition. 3 For our appeal [in preaching] does not [originate] from delusion or error or impure purpose or motive, nor in fraud or deceit. 4 But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the glad tidings (the Gospel), so we speak not to please men but to please God, Who tests our hearts [expecting them to be approved].
l. Christianity is not merely another dogma, but it is a living, genuine and personal relationship with God and His Word, that each one needs to receive, experience, and understand for themselves.
m. The Gospel is not real to you until it is personal to you!
2. Hardened Hearts.
a. Acts 19:9a AMPC — But when some became more and more stubborn (hardened and unbelieving), discrediting and reviling and speaking evil of the Way [of the Lord] before the congregation, he separated himself from them…
b. Paul continued to work to persuade them, and he won some over—but some became more stubborn and hard-hearted and entrenched in their position of rebellion against the Word of God.
c. He was no longer able to persuade them any further and so it was best for him to depart from them and focus his time and energy on those who were open and hungry to receive.
d. The Gospel must be freely, accurately, and compassionately preached to ALL—and that is what the Lord expects and requires of us.
e. However, once we have fulfilled our part, they, not we, are responsible for the response or choices they make.
f. People will either receive the Gospel message (now or later) or they will utterly refuse God’s free gift of grace.
g. There are three things rebellious people generally do:
- They harden their themselves—heart and mind (Ps. 95:7-8; Rom. 9:18; Heb. 3:8,13,15; 4:7; 2 Cor. 2:14-17).
- They refuse to believe the Truth (Mt. 13:15).
- They blaspheme and speak evil of Truth (Acts 9:1; 13:45; 18:6).
h. Hebrews 3:7-11 ERV — So it is just as the Holy Spirit says: “If you hear God’s voice today, 8 don’t be stubborn as you were in the past, when you turned against God. That was the day you tested God in the desert. 9 For 40 years in the desert your people saw what I did. But they tested me and my patience. 10 So I was angry with them. I said, ‘Their thoughts are always wrong. They have never understood my ways.’ 11 So I was angry and made a promise: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”
i. No one can do anything for a hard-hearted person, except to pray for them and place them in God’s hands.
j. Our responsibility is to preach the Gospel and the Lord will take over from there.
3. School of Tyrannus.
a. Acts 19:9b AMPC — …he separated himself from them, taking the disciples with him, and went on holding daily discussions in the lecture room of Tyrannus from about ten o’clock till three.
b. The Christians had to move and start a congregation of their own.
c. Paul was not discouraged but simply moved locations to continue to teach and preach the Kingdom of God.
d. He took the disciples with him—those already with him, and the new converts.
e. The facility available to them was a lecture room in the school of Tyrannus, a well-known teacher in that area.
f. It was a much better arrangement for all, because no Gentiles were allowed in the synagogue—only Jews and proselytes.
g. In the synagogue, he was limited to preaching on the Sabbath days, but in the school of Tyrannus, he was free to preach and minister every day from 10 AM until 3 PM, and both Jews and Greeks came to hear him.
h. Acts 19:10 AMPC — This continued for two years, so that all the inhabitants of [the province of] Asia, Jews as well as Greeks, heard the Word of the Lord [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God].
i. Paul continued there for a space of two years, and all of Asia Minor heard the Gospel!
j. Later, Paul mentions that he spent a total of three years there, ministering to them.
k. Acts 20:31 KJV — Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.