Acts 16:6 especially. My problem is this: Jesus commanded His followers to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19) and to be witnesses to “the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). But in Acts 16 Paul and Timothy “were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia” (Acts 16:6).
Acts 16:6 - 10
ESV - 6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.
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Jack, interesting question indeed! ❖ Acts 1:8 is the general commission for all disciples of Jesus. However, Holy Spirit guides us in the mission to achieve this in stages. This guidance is specific for every disciple in Christ so as to what we should do to proclaim the gospel on a daily basis. It is to extend the kingdom of God more effectively. Asia in the book of Acts was NOT meant to refer the whole of Asia continent. But it refers to Asia Minor in particular. ❖ Here in the passage Acts 16:6, it does NOT cover all of Asia Minor either, for they had already established churches in Galatia, Phrygia, Pisidia, Lycaonia, and Pamphylia (provinces of it). ❖ But it was no doubt was the Bithynia and Mysia, the northern and western parts of Asia Minor that the Holy Spirit checked them from going into at this time (Acts 16:7). ❖ Holy Spirit wanted them to go to other places that were more ripe for the gospel. Later these other parts were visited when they were more ready for it (1Pet. 1:1). This is how the Spirit of God, our comforter guides us in our daily mission of reaching the unreached. ❖ Having constant fellowship with Him, He guides me what to to speak to someone if he or she needs any help from Bible so as to save him or her to Heaven. Sometimes He Himself deliberately says not to speak to as he says it will be futile even if I share the word of God. Please note this is of the gift of knowledge and word of wisdom and discernment of spirits involved, so I simply obey my master through Spirit and I cannot afford to simply throw the manna to the dogs. He also saves my time and efforts in Christ. Many a times, He simply asks me to send a stern warning with his or her conduct or secret immoral sex life, even if the other person do not accept my words. For salvation, it involves Holy Spirit too in addition to my effort to speak as He is one convicts someone unto repentance for eternity and devil is the one condemns his mind and soul unto eternal damnation. Hope that clarifies. ☆｡･:*:･ﾟ★,｡･:*:･ﾟ☆ ｡･:*:･ﾟ★,｡･:*:☆
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