Bowie Apostolic Church
Acts: Paul in Rome
by From the Pastor's Desk on February 28th, 2013

Final Destination

Acts 28:17 After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 19 But because the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar—though I had no charge to bring against my nation. 20 For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.” 21 And they said to him, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. 22 But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against.” 
In your walk of faith and ministry, you must always remember: after great struggle, there is great breakthrough. If we maintain our faith through times of struggle, there is always something waiting for us on the other side. After God’s hand of protection has guided Paul through the storm and delivered him from death at the hands of the Romans, he begins to do mighty things to glorify His name through Paul.

He reaches the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea (King James translates as Melita). The inhabitants of the island treat the shipwrecked passengers very well. However, when Paul gathered wood for fire a viper came out of the sticks and attached to Paul’s hand. To be clear, this was a poisonous snake and the fact that it attached to his hand literally means that venom is pumping into Paul’s arms. The superstitious conclusion the natives come to is that Paul must have been some evil man and judgment has finally caught up to him. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Paul should’ve began to swell, but he walked around fine. Of course, now the religious thing to say is that he must be some kind of god. It is funny how people jump to conclusions when bad things befall us.

After this, the father of a landowner named Publius had a fever and dysentery, a fatal condition if not taken care of. Paul prayed for him and the man was healed. When the news of this had travelled, the bible says that the rest of the sick people on the island came to Paul and were healed. When mixed with determination, faith is unconquerable. Imagine the discouragement he could have had after two years of prison. No notable miracles during that time. No mention of conversions. After all the revival he had seen in Ephesus and Corinth, it seemed as if his ministry had slowed down. However, God did not slow down. He is just as powerful on Malta as He was in Ephesus. He is still just as powerful today.

Not only did God bless mightily in Malta, but Paul reaches Rome. He is greeted by certain unnamed brothers. The founder of the Church of Rome (if there is just one) is never mentioned, but there was a church at Rome that existed before Paul had ever arrived. He actually writes the letter to the Romans (the book of Romans) before he actually arrived there. Despite the fact that the Jews in Jerusalem and Caesarea probably knew that Paul was on his way to Rome, they did not send any correspondence to the thriving Jewish community in Rome. And because of this, Paul had an open door of ministry. They were eager to hear about the hope of Israel, even though they did not know it was Jesus Christ. Some actually accepted his testimony and believed. Between Malta and now Rome, it is as if Paul’s ministry had never stopped.

Paul lives in Rome for a couple of years. There is no mention in the bible of him ever meeting with Caesar for his trial. However, Christian tradition states that Paul was beheaded under the reign of Emperor Nero. Paul passed from this world to eternity. His ministry still lives on today. Think where he started: a persecutor of the church, then launching into a struggling ministry, then great revival in Corinth and Ephesus, imprisonment, shipwreck and deliverance. His ministry is born witness to by both angels and miracles. However, the greatest impact that he had on the church is still ongoing close to 2,000 years later. The world is still reading his letters. People are literally dying for others to read his letters. Thank God for the Apostle Paul.

Acts 29

At last, our short journey through Acts is ending this month. These last 28 days have been great as we walked through these 28 chapters. But what is Acts 29? It has become somewhat of a cultural statement within the church that denotes that “acts” should never stop in the church. Acts are what define us as a church. WE ARE ACTS 29. Acts should be present in our lives. God's power is present in our lives. Let us walk in faith believing that the same glorified Christ that bore witness to the early church can actually bear witness in our lives, both individually and collectively. God Bless.


Posted in Acts, Bible 2013    Tagged with Paul, Rome, Malta


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