Any person who reads the book of Acts will see that there was a great conflict when the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached. The apostle Paul made it exceedingly clear to his fellow Jews, that they totally missed the “voices of the prophets” when they rejected Jesus as Lord and Messiah!
“Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead: And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” (Acts 13:26-33)
The apostle Paul along with Barnabas were met with great opposition from most of the Jewish people who refused to believe that Jesus was in fact the Christ [Messiah].
And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. (Acts 13:42-44)
This must have been an awesome scene as the majority of people in this city came out to hear the Word of God. [true revival] Keep in mind that Paul and Barnabas were holding nothing back from the people, and Paul had just shown the contrast between the King David of the Old Testament [Covenant] and the seed [descendant] of David, Jesus Christ. Paul made it clear that the King David of old died, and his body saw corruption.[Acts 13:36-37] In plain English, the body of King David decayed just as any other human body would decay after the life left that body. But the body of King Jesus saw no corruption at all, and his body NEVER saw any type of decay, because He was raised from the dead. Paul preached the forgiveness of sins to the Jewish people in the synagogue, and he made it very clear that it was through this same Jesus Christ, who was raised from the dead. [Acts 13: 38-39] It is most unfortunate that the majority of the Jewish people rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They did not believe that he was the Messiah at all.
But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. (Acts 13:45-47)
The scriptures tell us that the Jewish people were filled with envy because they saw the multitudes of people who were listening to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the spiritual realm there was an intense battle taking place for the souls of all of the people who were present. The Jewish people began to contradict and blaspheme against Paul and Barnabas, and then Paul and Barnabas grew bold in the Holy Ghost and rebuked their opposers. They made it clear to them that the Word of God needed to be preached to them first, but since they “put it from you” [they rejected the Gospel, and wanted nothing to do with it] the Gospel would then go to the Gentiles.
Paul and Barnabas declared that the Lord commanded them to do just that [bring the Gospel to the rest of the world], and then they referred to the Old Testament [Covenant] scriptures to back that up. [see Isaiah 42:6] Paul and Barnabas made it very clear that it was Jesus Christ who was set to be the light of the Gentiles, and salvation to the ends of the earth! This Gospel message is all about Jesus Christ, the Light of the world [John 8:12], and the one who was given to be a covenant to the people in ALL the world. Paul and Barnabas also made it clear that the Jewish people judged themselves to be UNWORTHY of everlasting life. They were the ones who refused the counsel of God, and they were the ones who rejected the glad tidings concerning Jesus Christ. Any person whether they be Jewish or Gentile (the rest of mankind) who reject the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, also judge themselves to be unworthy of everlasting life. It is by their own volition, by their own free will.
Stephen encountered similar opposition from the Jewish people and he said this to them moments before they killed him for preaching Christ [see Acts 7:51-60]
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. (Acts 7:51-53)
Stephen shows us here that a person can most definitely resist the Holy Ghost [Spirit]. Stephen also rebuked them by showing how “their fathers” killed the prophets of old, the same ones who prophesied the very coming of the “just one” [Jesus Christ]. Do not be fooled in this modern day by those who twist the scriptures to their own destruction. You have a free will, and you make many choices in this life, but if you make the wrong choice concerning Jesus Christ, the spiritual consequences are indeed fatal.