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April 25, 2020 2:00 am
The day finally arrived when all that Paul dreamt of came true. He arrived at Rome, lived there under house arrest and then…the book ends abruptly, without a suitable ending. Why? What happened to Paul next? How did he die? As we move from the actual and the historical into the probable, we wonder if the Holy Spirit isn't trying to communicate something to us through such an unusual ending to this great story of Paul's long road to Rome.
This teaching is from the series Paul's Long Road to Rome.Links:
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Listen to this man's philosophy of life from the last letter he wrote in second Timothy. He writes I suffered trouble is an evil doer, even to the point of James with the word of God is not chain. In other words you say I learned to see everything in life is an opportunity is grown in the Philippian jail. This is an opportunity stands before the Areopagus in Athens. This is an opportunity gets chained in Caesarea.
Another opportunity is shipwreck another opportunity thrown in jail for two years in Rome all use this as an opportunity. The apostle Paul began life wholeheartedly pursuing the religion of his family that he moved on to vigorously persecute Christians for their belief in Jesus as the Messiah that he was radically converted to share the hope of his Christian faith that patient took him far and why finally landed in the prison where he preached until his death today on connect with Skip weekend division Skip Heitzig takes us through the final moments of Paul's life, but with that end, there is a momentous new beginning in Skip will show that tuition.
She wraps up the series. Paul's long road to Rome. Others broadcast. But before we begin today. We wanted to tell you about pastor skips newly reprinted. You can understand the book of Revelation this month's connect with Skip off for the future. 100% accuracy know of but God is close to being able to make that kind of want you to think of prophecy as being an aspect of one of God's great attributes. God is omniscient. He knows everything because he is omniscient. One of the aspects of his omniscient is that he knows the future in advance and can write about and predicted through his prophets in graphic the guessing game out of skip.
I think the newly reprinted book you can stay at the book of Revelation now, including helpful frustrations that you get your copy when you give a generous gift of $35 or more to help expand the Bible teaching outreach of Skip Heitzig just call 892 1888 to give today 892 1888 to forgive all that securely connectwithskip.com/offer skip.com/offer now with the final message are series Paul's long road the world open your Bibles. Let's join Skip me think of it this you could, Lord willing. If you lead to an open up your home once a week once a month from fellowship. Here's a thought, invite some neighbors Wednesday night in the Bible from 30,000 feet. Hey, if you ever wondered what the Bible message is all about to do an overview of it. Come Wednesday night and come back to our house Sunday night meals on us and let's discuss the relevance of the Bible for your life.
Okay now verse 24. This is what happened in this what you can expect to happen since some were persuaded and some disbelieved, we can expect anything different family.
You share a message with a group of people or with a few people are with their neighbors or family and some will believe and some will reject, but learn to rejoice in those who believe or the one who believes that one or two were few who respond number. Jesus said that the kingdom of God was like a guy who sowed seed out in the field.
Member the parable 25% didn't even hear the fellow by the wayside and they wanted nothing to do with another 50% had an emotional temporary response and only 25% of the hearers in that parable any or any kind of fruit at all in Jesus and that's the kingdom of God is like. So, some will believe and some will disbelieved so we know the Paul while he was in Rome for two years at home Bible studies.
Second thing he did was personal evangelism. I Artie drew your attention back to verse 16 in verse 30 and said that Paul was chained to a Roman guard. This was house arrest how it says that he was delivered. Verse 16 to the captain of the guard. This was the prey Torian the palace guard to be equivalent to the Secret Service, perhaps of Arctic this what it means. Paul was chained to a Roman guard 24 seven, four of them a day serving six hour shifts chained to Paul.
Can you imagine being chained to Paul the apostle for six hours.
They were a captive audience.
Paul elected that Chandler got sold and thought this is great this is an opportunity they can get away and he took advantage of their share with somebody that are likely to have a say what they do. They walk away. This guy can't walk away now.
Evidently what was happening. As Paul was using this opportunity to speak to this garden. Then three guards and then for more. The next day, etc., is that some of them began being touched by what Paul said and were probably trading duty payout you mind if I take a shift that Paul was right in the middle of this great point I want to finish it out in the next six hours. Now you might think will Skip you're just being very colorful and making a lot of the stuff up.
I'm not actually I want you to turn over to Philippians and see something with turned that book slipped to Philippians chapter 1 it was a book that Paul wrote while he was in prison two years in Rome, verse 12, but I want you to know, brethren, that the things which have happened to me. My imprisonment have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard. That's the prey Torian guard and do all the rest of my chains are in Christ, so go over to chapter 4 of Philippians. With that thought in mind the end of the book verse 21 he's closing remarks greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you.
All the saints greet you, but especially those who are what Caesar's household. How did he ever manage to get anyone in Caesar's household say was chained to the elite guard, and evidently they started getting saved and telling other soldiers and telling people so that there's a revival in Caesar's household.
This is cool and notice the Paul writes in chapter 1, I want to know that the things that happen to me of happen for the furtherance of the gospel. He didn't set your time in prison for boy. It was guys listen what is happening me has allowed me to preach the gospel. How else would these guards ever be reached unless I was in jail being able to share with so we know you at home Bible studies. We know he did personal evangelism and we know number three that he wrote books or letters, Philippians, Colossians, in Ephesians, the book of Philemon were all written from this first Roman imprisonment. During those two years.
I gotta tell you some. I'm glad Paul was in jail are two you wouldn't have those books otherwise. And by the way of all of Paul's writings there. The most Christological, Christ centered, Christ exalting book he wrote them during that time home Bible studies, personal evangelism and writing, all while he's in jail you know why listen to this man's philosophy of life from the last letter he wrote second Timothy. He writes I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains, but the word of God is not chained. Did you get that. In other words, he say I learned to see everything in life is an opportunity gets thrown in the Philippian jail.
This is an opportunity big stands before the Areopagus in Athens. This is an opportunity gets chained in Caesarea.
Another opportunity, a shipwreck, another opportunity thrown in jail for two years in Rome all use this as an opportunity this. What I like you walk away with some of you in whatever circumstances you face today will I care, chained something you might be a young mother and you have a lot of kids quickly. You gave up a career to be in at home and it's narrowing it stifling. You feel imprisoned. There is a woman named Susanna Wesley who had 19 children at the chain she didn't see it that way. She sought as an opportunity and two of her children, John Wesley and Charles Wesley became preachers and a songwriter that shook the British Isles. Some of you feel chained to a lousy job. You think boy, I I hate my job.
There's unbelievers all around me. I like to work at church. I don't think so.
Think of the opportunity you have with all those unbelievers. Some of you feel chained because of disease. You might even get this message in a hospital room or a convalescent home anything. How could God ever use me confined to these four walls. Did you know that Charlotte Elliott wrote her best hands while she was confined as an invalid. She didn't know when she wrote the song just as I am, without one plea that would be sung at every Billy Graham Crusade, the manner preach, the more people than any other human being. God used her chain. Some people feel chained because there literally imprisoned.
I know the prisoners will be hearing this message.
Martin Luther translated the Bible in a prison.
John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim's progress in a prison God can use that time in your life as the best time in your life.
If 11. Now we conclude the story really, but let's go back and finish off the last two verses and will close. Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence. No one forbidding him.
The book ends. We are told nothing of what happens after those two years. So if you'll allow me.
I want to go from the actual to the probable, to give you what I think with the best evidence we have of what happened until Paul died. First of all, most scholars in reading this. Most people in reading this would say the book of acts ends suddenly abruptly inappropriately. I mean, why does Luke not tell us how the main character dies, you know, I was Paul in the main character the Holy Spirit is the main character and Luke is simply recording what the Holy Spirit did through a man he yielded to him preaching the Lord Jesus Christ to yielded life. Most commentators have said the book of acts is an unfinished book. It's as if the Holy Spirit is saying here you finish you add to it.
The church isn't dead. Paul's gone. That's over but it continues through you.
You write something out of me literally write the Bible but just add to it by your life a little pond that says you are writing a gospel, a chapter each day by the things that you do and the words that you say people here what you say and they see what you do.
So what is the gospel according to you our lives, our exploits are movements of faith are all part of the unfinished story is the book of acts continues. According to the best sources.
After the two years were finished. The best sources being Clement of Rome who lived in the 80s, A.D., right after Paul Eusebius, who lived in Ephesus, Nero, the king sent Paul free and he took his freedom for a year. He was set free at least a year. Some think he went all the way to Spain because I was his dream took the gospel or we don't know for sure but most probably he went to Colossae during that year and he met with church leaders he met with Philemon, whom he wrote to. He brought with them on this semester was the runaway slave. Paul converted while he was imprisoned and he writes to them in Philemon who live in glass and said prepare a guestroom for me. I'll be there soon so anticipated the release. He not only went to Colossae but you have to go by Crete to get to Colossae so we probably stop by and saw Titus, whom he said I want you to appoint elders in every city and set things in order until I get there and he probably went join Timothy in Ephesus. History tells us that he was arrested in Truax as an brought back to Rome for his final imprisonment.
This time he wasn't under house arrest. This time it wasn't as convenient for two years, but he was placed in the manner teen prism in the form managing prison is a hole in the ground. No windows but a whole that goes to the top where food is let down its smelly, dark and nuts were Paul spent his final days manner teen prism. I've been there twice is what I noticed about the member team prison today.
Nobody goes here get a few stragglers have heard about a no go down look at it. It's funny because not far away.
Thousands of people are in line every day to go to the Vatican Vatican wouldn't exist were not for the member to Paul's final days on earth were spent in the member team prison and in that last imprisonment he wrote a final letter to his apprentice, Timothy second Timothy is the last book ever written by Paul shortly before his death, perhaps even hours.
Marie three verses out of it. He writes to Timothy, I am already being poured out as a drink offering in the time of my departure is at hand. I know under the Dyson. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, finally, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord our righteous judge will give me on that day and not to me only, but also to all who have loved his appearing.
Paul was taken to the Basilica Julia built by Julius Caesar where he stood trial and hurt his death sentence. Then he was taken outside of Rome. Somewhere in the Austin Road where he was beheaded. Tradition tells us to borrow from two authors one is a T Robertson who recounts probably what happened.
The crowds flowed into town somewhere going out. Paul was only a criminal going to be beheaded. Few, if any, of the crowd would know or care anything about him had a good place on the road some miles out.
The executioner stopped the block was laid down.
The executioner stood ready acts and hand the men strip Paul tied him kneeling upright to the low pillar which exposed his back in his neck.
The lectors beat him with rods for the last time he groaned and bled from his nose and mouth and then, without a hint of hesitation.
The executioner frowned as he swung the blade down swiftly hitting its mark with a dole thud.
The head of the greatest preacher of the ages rolled upon the dust of the ground and that brutal moment Paul moved from Rome to home from the Imperial city to the eternal city.
Paul, the prisoner was set free.
Absent from the body present with the Lord. But his writings went on, didn't Itzhak and Dori rattle some cages in Jerusalem and in the Jewish world. Paul the apostle shook the world so the story ends abruptly. Maybe it's supposed to. Maybe you're supposed to finish story continues to your life. Maybe for some this and of Paul's life could be the beginning of your long road your journey to heaven.
Hey, you want an exciting life get saved and get busy doing God's work. Give your moments to Christ and see what he'll do out. Never have a boring moment. I guarantee that it won't always be the finest, most all one always be the most comfortable and most convenient.
But you wanted adventure.
This is well posed journeys, but ours continues God is great work for us to accomplish of the communities where we live and work. Perhaps you are listening to Skip today and have not yet made the decision to follow Christ. We hope you'll do that in doing today.
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While today we are Skip and his wife Lenny again studio with some final thoughts on Paul lamia while today we finished the long road to Rome.
Yeah, a journey with Polly Yan. Sad. The story kinda ends abruptly, and perhaps that's the way it's supposed to be because we carry on the story knowing we now can walk our road to Albuquerque. Yeah, I think it's post and abruptly think what it were supposed to finish it yes and so is a finished today. I think we feel inspired to be like Paul to be all and and and to do a great work of art to see God's great work done to spreading the gospel.
If we are personally called to the mission field.
How would you encourage us to share the work of the gospel evangelism when we are well think of Paul. He was all in, but he was all caged up. He was imprisoned in Rome. So he use that as a fulcrum, and he did a couple things that were very unique. He had a home Bible study because he was incarcerated so he was under house arrest. He could leave the people come to him so he had some way of inviting people to come in and he shared with them.
Number two, he wrote, and we are the beneficiaries of that because we have the New Testament letters written by Paul Paul from prison wrote profound spirit inspired literature that has changed lives, so he used his prison as a place from which to share even while he was confined. Well, you know, no matter where you're at. We live in a day and age were to social networking more texting or emailing. You can get a message out and so I would just say you know you some of those things creatively. Whether it's Facebook or Instagram or you know I have a lot of friends who are housewives and maybe feel contained in the home that they do have these outlets to blocker to different things that and let's not forget the power of food. I mean, you could hear something you could invite somebody to church and segued to me favors go to church Sunday and afterwards I'll take your lunch. You know what Lotta people would say I'm in and out your Brian I meant and you know those are just age-old things invitations are very important. A lot of people to go to church because are not invited, and if we would invite them and maybe include a meal of give a person a book if it if somebody else said it better than you can say it, then let them say it, give them a book to read, especially if they need to wrestle with certain issues but I still think the best way to do it is a good old-fashioned eye to eye conversation where you just engage over period of time and here the person out and let that person hear you out.
Share your personal testimony of a God change your life and take it from there. Thanks N yeah if you love the teaching you hear each day of the connection. Remember, you can view and hear more with the Skip Heitzig Roku channel watch anytime from the comfort of your couch head is free to add.
Today is the Skip Heitzig Roku channel all the details should connect with script.com come back next time will begin a brand-new series on the 10 Commandments to Skip this title God stop to so plan to join us what you hear and connect with weekend division of presentation of connection so God's ever-changing true and ever-changing time