Time to Acts – Part 23&24

Here we take a look at 2 chapters, and see Paul stand trial and eventually go to prison. All because he taught people to follow Jesus. When I read scripture like this, it does make me wonder what I would do in a situation like this. I face mild persecution, nothing like what Paul went through. Now I am not saying that we should go out looking for trouble, but we should preach the Word, and not be afraid of what may come our way. Let’s take a look at some parts of chapter 23 and 24.

We first see Paul up against the Pharisees and Sadducees. Paul gets them arguing with each other, so much so that the commander gets Paul out as he fears that Paul may have been killed in the process. This inspires a group of 40 Jews to get together and make a pact to kill Paul. It always amazes me how people will go to such great lengths to keep the Truth quiet. We see this kind of thing happening today in countries all over the world, and it is rather sad. Christians getting killed for preaching the Word of God. Those of us who live in countries where it is safe(er) to preach the Word, do we do it? It is even sadder that we have an opportunity to reach others and we often don’t take it.

Paul is then taken away, for safety, by the commander. He ends up in a prison at Herod’s quarters where he awaits a trial. Later on, he is brought out and asked to plead his case, which he does, he says the following: “But I admit that I follow the Way, which they call a cult. I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets. 15 I have the same hope in God that these men have, that he will raise both the righteous and the unrighteous. 16 Because of this, I always try to maintain a clear conscience before God and all people.
17 “After several years away, I returned to Jerusalem with money to aid my people and to offer sacrifices to God. 18 My accusers saw me in the Temple as I was completing a purification ceremony. There was no crowd around me and no rioting. 19 But some Jews from the province of Asia were there—and they ought to be here to bring charges if they have anything against me! 20 Ask these men here what crime the Jewish high council[c]found me guilty of, 21 except for the one time I shouted out, ‘I am on trial before you today because I believe in the resurrection of the dead!’”

Paul is then put back in prison, and ends up staying there for 2 years! Here is the thing, the Lord spoke to Paul in verse 11 (of Chapter 23) and told him that he would be going to Rome. Now he is in prison for 2 years for doing nothing wrong. How many of you have felt that you have heard from God, but it is just not happening? How many of us are waiting to see prophesies come true in our lives? Keep believing, keep trusting, and keep doing what God has called you to do and you will get there. I think of some things in my life which hasn’t happened quickly enough for me and how frustrated I get because I get impatient. Paul spent 2 years in a prison, waiting for God’s word to happen. Could you do that? I don’t know if I could. I need to learn from this and be patient. Yes, take action (if God has called yo to), pray, speak positively, keep believing and meditating on God’s Word, keep reading the Bible and praising God… But don’t lose faith. Don’t let the unbelief sneak in. I am not teaching this from a point of having done it well, I am talking to myself here as much as I am talking to anyone else.

Richard

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