Continue in the Faith
21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch,
22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
It was Paul’s first missionary trip so we can forgive him for not understanding all the missiology that modern Christians now know and practice.
He must have returned to the Lystrians, Iconiumians and Antiochians to help them understand their eternal security. I suppose he hadn’t yet written the letters that clearly teach the eternal security doctrine.
Yet his message was “Continue in the Faith”. But Paul, once saved, you automatically continue in the faith, right?
Something must be wrong – Paul is wasting time with believers since the entire world needed to hear the gospel. Why didn’t he simply keep going into new territory to reach more and more of the lost? If those who truly believe are eternally secure, Paul seemed to waste his time visiting and encouraging the saints to remain faithful.
It is great that as modern believers we have finally come to the knowledge and wisdom to efficiently evangelize!
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