Good News continues to advance

paul-thessalonica-bereaWe continue to walk with the disciples of Jesus. We have followed the journey of Paul and Silas to the point of revivals and persecutions in Acts 16-17.  We see how the disciples were led by the Holy Spirit, how they obeyed the Lord’s calling and found doors opened to the Gospel. We also witness how salvation and persecution came almost simultaneously. This is still applicable today. There are people who listen to the Gospel and joyously accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord. There are also those who listen with a further hardened heart against Jesus and His followers. Why? When we read the four Gospels we can see the answer everywhere. Jesus Himself encountered the same responses. Some listened and accepted His message of the Kingdom of God. Many rejected Him and thereby rejected the Kingdom of God. One thing that is key to the people’s believing is the words of God. Those who really honor God and His word receive the sharing and preaching of the word. They listen with respect and search the Scripture for the truth. Jesus has promised: Those who seek will find. Those who ask will receive. Those who knock, the door will be opened.

Acts 16 Persecution and Salvation: including successful and devout business woman and even a former enemy of Christ and his family. Honor for those who fear and worship the Lord and believe in Jesus. That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 So we[c] decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.

11 We boarded a boat at Troas and sailed straight across12 From there we reached Philippi, a major city of that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. And we stayed there several days.

13 On the Sabbath… we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. 14 One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. 15 She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests… 22 A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. 23 They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison… 25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!  29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” 32 And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. 33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34 He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God. 35 The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, “Let those men go!” 36 So the jailer told Paul, “The city officials have said you and Silas are free to leave. Go in peace.” 37 But Paul replied, “They have publicly beaten us without a trial and put us in prison—and we are Roman citizens. So now they want us to leave secretly? Certainly not! Let them come themselves to release us!” 38 When the police reported this, the city officials were alarmed to learn that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. 39 So they came to the jail and apologized to them. Then they brought them out and begged them to leave the city… 

Acts 17 Those who listened were persuaded and joined the disciples and those who became jealous and caused persecution. The people of Berea were more open-minded and many believed. 1 Paul and Silas then traveled through the towns of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.[d] But some of the Jews were jealous, so they gathered some troublemakers from the marketplace to form a mob and start a riot. They attacked the home of Jason, searching for Paul and Silas so they could drag them out to the crowd…

10 That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.

13 But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble…

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