Sunday, September 30, 2012

From Acts to Revelation Part 46 – Berea



From Acts to Revelation
Part 46 – Berea
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION
Last week we saw in scripture, Paul, Timothy and Silas, in Thessalonica. Paul, as was his custom, went directly to the Synagogue in town, and preached the Gospel of christ.

For three Sabbaths, he preached this message.

Scripture tells us that SOME Jews believed, a LARGE number of Greeks (Gentiles) and quite a few prominent women.

We also read how the Jews who did not believe, gathered a bunch of no-goods from the seedy part of town, and began to riot. They could not find Paul and his party, so they nabbed a few who gave Paul a place to sleep.

Taking them to the Magistrate, they blamed the men for taking Paul, whom they said was causing the riot, and inciting violence, because he taught against Rome.

Today's scripture will show us how Paul and his party leave Thessilonica, and head towards Berea.

We will learn from scripture today;

1)     Paul sticks with his game-plan, going to a town and preaching in the Synagogue.
2)     What the biblical definition of NOBLE is.
3)     How trouble (from the devil) will hunt us down, where ever we go and speak of Jesus being Christ.










SCRIPTURE REFERENCE

Acts 17:10-15
10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The believers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.


I.       FROM THESSILONICA TO BEREA
a.      the brethren sent them off
i.       More than likely, this was Jason and the others who were taken to the Magistrate and forced to pay a bail to get out of prison.


b.     Paul, Silas and Timothy left at night to avoid more trouble


c.      they eventually arrived at Berea
i.       This was 50 miles from Thessalnoica

ii.    Once there, Paul did what was his custom, he went straight to the Synagogue and preached the message of Jesus Christ.


d.     Paul addressed those in the Synagogue first, simply because those who attended on the Sabbath already believed in the scriptures of God, whether Jew, Greek (Gentile), or prominent woman.



II.   BEREA, MORE NOBLE THAN THESSILONICA
a.      The Bible now defines for us, exactly what NOBLE is
i.       Saying Berea was more noble than Thessilonica

ii.    Because, (vs.11) they received the Word with all readiness of mind.

iii. And, they searched the scriptures daily.


b.     This explains why they were so eager to accept the message of Jesus Christ!
i.       Their minds were READY for the Message!

ii.    Ready, because they searched the scriptures daily!


c.      The Results of Paul giving the Message he always gives;
i.       This is the same procedure at every town, but with different results

ii.    This time, instead of reading “...and some Jews believed...” as in verse 4 of Acts 17, we read, “...Therefore (because the previous verse said their minds were ready to receive the message because they read their scriptures daily), Therefore, MANY of them believed.”

iii. “...honorable women and Greeks (God-fearing Gentiles) as well.”



III.  TROUBLE ONCE AGAIN
a.      However...
i.       The Thessilonian Jews (the ones who did not believe Paul in Thessilonica), heard that Paul, whom they were hunting to take before the magistrate, but did not find, was preaching the Message of Jesus Christ in Berea.


b.     So they traveled to Berea, and stirred up trouble once again.
i.       You see, Jesus says we cannot serve two masters.
a.      You WILL either serve Christ, or the enemy.

b.     These men were hunting Paul, lead by Satan's unholy spirits.

c.      Empowered by hate.

d.     Driven by demons.

e.      Lead to kill, and destroy anything to do with Christ and Salvation.

ii.    Such is many leaders who do not serve Christ.
a.      ANY leader who promotes, pushes, passes, or stands behind ANYTHING that is un-godly, whether it be the promotion of sins which are detestable to God, or things such as the murder of innocent, unborn children, those leaders are serving their master, Satan.

iii. These men, serving their master, Satan, traveled over fifty miles to try and put a stop to Paul preaching Christ.


c.      The believer's in Berea, trying to save Paul once again, tell him to leave.


d.     Timothy and Silas stay behind.
i.       We're not sure why, maybe to stump those looking for Paul, perhaps to provide assistance and further teaching to the Berean's until Paul found their next stop on this Second Missionary trip, the Bible does not say.

e.      Paul then traveled to Athens
i.       The Chief-City (Capital) of Greece
ii.    Famed for being a place of learning
iii. Once Paul arrived at his destination, he sent a letter to Timothy and Silas, telling them to come to Athens as soon as possible.


CONCLUSION

4)     Paul sticks with his game-plan, going to a town and preaching in the Synagogue.

5)     What is the biblical definition of NOBLE – to have a mind with all readiness to receive the Word of God, which comes from searching the scriptures daily!

6)     Trouble (from the devil) will hunt us down, where ever we go and speak of Jesus being Christ. However, God's Will is going to be done, regardless of what the devil throws at us.


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