God provides us with opportunities for ministry.
It should be noted that It took some 5 to 6 years for Paul to finally make it to Rome.
Before Paul was taken into custody, he was being beaten by Jews of the city for preaching the Gospel if Jesus Christ. (Acts 21:30-31)
The Jews were angry and retaliated with force only because of the truth and the moving of the Holy Spirit.
During the uproar of the city, a chief captain of the band soldiers in Jerusalem, ran immediately to the city and took him into custody.
…….No matter what shape or condition Paul was left in, he was always determined to preach the Gospel of Christ!
…….37 And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?
Preaching through the beating
Now to vs. 40 And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,
…….The entire 22nd chapter consists of the message that Paul preached from the stairs of the synagogue in Jerusalem. His message was always how Jesus Christ saved him.
After this, the Jews cried out for him to be killed.
Once again, he was taken into custody by the chief Captain and the Captain ordered for him to be scourged.
The good thing about Paul was, he knew the law and knew his rights. Paul proves that it is never a bad thing to use the law to advantage our religious protection from unlawful authority.
Informed by the Lord
30 On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them.
11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
Now the explanation of the Captain to the governor Felix:
27 This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.
28 And when I would have known the cause wherefore they accused him, I brought him forth into their council:
29 Whom I perceived to be accused of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge worthy of death or of bonds.
30 And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.
…….God knew what the outcome would be of the Jews response to the Gospel of Christ. It was the religious sect of the Jews who killed Christ, and God’s intention may have only been to give them a chance to hear the Gospel one more time, so Paul preached. What a picture of Mercy!
When God says go and do, we must be obedient even when we see no profit of the ministry! God knows exactly what he is doing!
Paul appeals to Caesar
…….Paul stayed in the custody of governor Felix for approximately 2 years.
When his governing term was over, Festus took power, a man who also had the chance to hear the Gospel.
1 Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
2 Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him,
3 And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him.
10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.
11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.
12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.
Paul survives a storm, gains confidence of his keeper.
22 And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.
23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
24 Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
…….God, if we allow him, will use us to gain friendship with sinners to prove that we are ordered and blessed of him.
Paul arrives in Rome
16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.
Paul meets with the Jews
17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.
18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me.
19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.
20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.
The Jews replied to Paul
21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.
22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.
23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
Paul’s words not believed
24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
……. Because of pride and bitterness, and knowing the message was for them to change their ways, they agreed with themselves and left condemned.
Paul’s mission to Gentiles
28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
…….This was the fulfillment of prophecy that salvation would be given to the Gentiles.
Paul’s ministry at Rome
30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
My first question, what we’re the two aspects that caused Paul to endure and never give up?
He stayed full of the Holy Ghost.
He never forgot how the saving power of God changed his own life.