I think it’s very encouraging to see the gospel being proclaimed and believed! It seems rare to see new believers in our area. The continued proclamation without seeing any respond is discouraging.
So, be encouraged afresh by these three different locations bearing fruit!
And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. – Acts 17:4
Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. – Acts 17:12
But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. – Acts 17:34
You might respond to this by thinking…well this was pioneer mission work. These new fields had not heard the gospel. How does that encourage me to keep proclaiming in this saturated field?
Two things: 1) there are people in our area that haven’t heard the gospel. I know that sounds odd but it’s true. We can be complacent in sharing the gospel because it’s easy to re-share than seek out new fields among us. 2) there are many people in our area that have heard (and believe) a false gospel. That’s a field too! One of our odd but primary tasks here is to evangelize the church.
Paul went to the synagogue to share. He reasoned with them. We must seek to persuade nominal Christians to believe in the gospel. I think this has so much to do with what kind of church we are. Can our community look at us and see a difference? Can they see what it looks like to follow and love Jesus?
Are we a compelling community of believers that displays the character of God while repentant of our daily failing before a watching world? May we desire this…Lord bring revival among us.