“They returned … 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” (v21-22). Paul and Barnabas preached to “the crowds” (v1), but they didn’t worry that the majority did not accept their message. In each city, some believed the gospel, but often, city leaders (both Jew and Gentile) opposed them. The apostles didn’t focus on numbers but on “strengthening” the believers and forming healthy churches (v23).
After we believe, we must be “strengthened” and grow in our faith so that we, like the believers in Antioch and Lystra, can face tribulation, grow deeper roots, and pass on the gospel to others (v26-28).