Acts 20–21: The Cost of Following Christ

Do you live in light of eternity?

So few followers of Jesus do, looking to the temporal rather than the eternal. Paul, however, gives us a clear example of what it means to live in this world in light of the next.

Acts 20: A Hard Farewell

Acts 20:17–38 contains Paul’s farewell speech to the Ephesian elders as he heads toward Jerusalem. He knew that trials and suffering awaited him there, and that he would most likely die because of his destination. But that did not deter him.

Instead of trying to escape sorrow and pain, Paul forged onward. He knew the glory of Jesus Christ, and that far outweighed any temporal suffering. Because of this knowledge, he exhorted the Ephesian elders to be on their guard against false teachers, who were sure to try to lead the church astray.

Paul’s love for the people he served is evident in this farewell speech; he commended them to God and encouraged them to remember the inheritance that waited for them after death.

Acts 21: The Cost of Following Christ

As Paul continued on his journey toward Jerusalem, his Christian brothers and sisters warned him over and over again of the trials he would encounter. The Spirit testified that Paul’s time in Jerusalem would not be an easy one and would end in bondage.

But Paul did not let fear control him. Rather than worrying about the coming pain, he looked ahead to the eternal weight of glory. He knew that there is more to life than experiencing temporal comfort. This life, after all, is brief, transient, and ephemeral. Our purpose may be fulfilled sooner than we think, and God may call us home this very day.

Our necessary task is to obey God and do what He has called us to do, even at the cost of our own life. We do not determine the opportunities of our life; God does. We are called to be faithful to the process in this present age—this is our human responsibility. The outcome ultimately belongs to God.

Watch part 97 of the 365 Key Chapters of the Bible series, based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture

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Acts 20–21: The Cost of Following Christ

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