[quote="TreeOfLife123, post:5, topic:292418"]
I don't understand. The version of the Bible that I was reading had this as Acts 14:22:
I was hoping that that meant that suffering and hardships were in some way requirements for entering the Kingdom of Heaven. Which I thought went along with the many verses referring to suffering with Christ. That was a large part of my question.
I was referring in particular to the part where it seems to say that it is necessary to suffer hardships in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Is that true? Can that be one way to think of this verse aside from the answers given in this post already?
Suffering hardship(s) is not always required in general.
This passage in particular refers to what priests will suffer during the birth of the church; eg: it's formation in in the pagan peoples against the will of the "Jews" -- and with respect to the particular flock these shepherds were given.
Notice, it is the Jews from Antioch and Iconium who bring about Paul's figurative death -- and Paul's likeness to Christ's Death & resurrection. v: 18
Paul then returns to these VERY places, Antioch and Iconium (v: 21) --- and it is in that context, that Paul says -- they must suffer many trials to enter the kingdom of God.
I am certain that Bishops and priests are assigned to a location, and if their superior does NOT move them; they remain in danger of those places.
So, it is pragmatically St. Paul's choice that they suffer these hardships, perhaps since he knew no better way to do God's will.
I'm looking at the passage's context again:
St. Paul was put to the test (trial) in VV. 10-12, where people prepared to worship Pau/Barnabas because of their priestly power (These two were the hand and eyes of God, so to speak from vv 8-9.), In order to overcome the temptation -- Paul rejects Satan's offer; and suffers the consequences VV. 18-19.
Then, the scriptures note something curious -- the "disciples" surround Paul's body. Or if you will, the "learners" surround him. There is no indication they did anything to Paul, nor did they take Paul from the city people, who dragged him out and left him thinking him already dead.
Essentially, those learning the faith -- found him dead, and then they witness him "rise" (Anastas AKA as if from the dead.) here's a lesson for the day, students! ]
This lesson of power of God and consequent suffering was also known of more ancient times, say in Wisdom 6:3-12; ( afaIk: There, the word disciple (learn) is used in Greek in vv. 9-10 for the first time in the OT)
One also has to consider that these people are witnessing Paul rising from a mortal encounter -- alive and well. it is, in effect, a miracle; which makes them more culpable for what they do later.
In light of all these things, then Paul tells the disciples about hardship to enter the kingdom of God -- and notice what he does to those who were just taught the lesson: "Then, they [Paul & Barnabas] appointed presbyters for them in each of the churches, and commended them to the care of the Lord in whom they had learned to believe."
The word for appointed, is not the usual one found in the OT and the NT.
It actually begins with the word for "hand", and is highly suggestive of the "Laying on of Hands" done by priests for two reasons -- One is to strengthen the ill (Anointing of the Sick), and secondly to pass on power to priests, bishops, deacons...
There is a possible inference to the anointing of the sick in vv. 21 where it talks about strengthening or fortifying the spirits of the disciples, although I think the passage is more concerned with the appointing of shepherds to be the "hand(s)" of Paul and Barnabas in those regions -- and also their successors.