"I have much people in this city"
Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. Acts 18:9-11
In verse 10, we have the doctrine of election, the Scriptural truth that before the foundation of the world, God ordained and chose, unconditionally and sovereignly, some among the fallen human race to eternal life. In saying, "I have much people in this city," God was reminding Paul that the apostle was not sent to pursue his own kingdom and agenda, but to call God's people - his elect - to faith in Christ. And they will come, as it was in Antioch, where "as many as were ordained to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48).
This verse ought to prove once and for all that election is not meant to stymie evangelism or to cause us to keep our mouths closed, but to give us boldness to preach and share God's word with whomever we can, knowing that the success of our endeavors does not rest upon our shoulders but upon God's immoveable purpose of election. Election is not grounds for do-nothingism, but ought to give us courage to join in the assault upon the gates of hell. As the apostle Paul would say later to Timothy, "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Tim. 2:8-10).
I believe God has much people in our city. Let us therefore pray that God would use us to boldly live and proclaim, uncompromisingly and winsomely, the unsearchable riches of Christ.