Sunday, December 16, 2012

From Acts to Revelation Part 56 – Paul Says Goodbye



From Acts to Revelation
Part 56 – Paul Says Goodbye
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION

This week, we will see Paul;
1)     Travel alone for time with the Lord, to hear from the Holy Spirit
2)     Discover that he is on a one way journey, led by the Holy Spirit.
3)     Say Goodbye to the Elders of Ephesus


SCRIPTURE REFERENCE

Acts 20:13-27
13 We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot. 14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. 15 The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Chios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus.16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost.
17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. 18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.






I.       PAUL TRAVELS TO MANY LANDS
a.      We see that Paul begins his journey by traveling twenty miles on foot, alone.
i.       This is more than likely so he can spend time alone with the Lord, and to hear from the Holy Spirit on what he was to do, and where he was to go.

ii.    We too, need to listen to the Holy Spirit when we have decisions to make.
a.      Paul, as many others, have to make time in their lives for the Lord

b.     Because they know, they cannot move forward without it!

iii. Paul knew, his life was not his own, and he could not make decisions without knowing what the Lord wanted from him.


b.     After his walk, he met up with Luke and the others to travel by boat.
i.       Remember, it is Luke who is recording this account.


c.      We see from the scripture that he traveled from Assos to Mitylene, then to Chios, and Samos where they rested in Trogyllium for a night. Then they traveled to Miletus, and sailed past Ephesus.
i.       We are told he did not want to spend any time in Asia (Ephesus)
a.      Paul and his companions were moving quickly from place to place.

ii.    Perhaps he did not want to see the Elder's in Ephesus because he knew how difficult it would be for him to leave again, with his journey ahead, and the troubles and tribulations he was about to face.

iii. So he passed Ephesus by 30 miles, then sent a messenger asking the Elders to come see him.


d.     The scriptures tell us in verse 16, that Paul “hasted, to be at Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost.”



II.    PAUL CALLS ON THE ELDERS OF EPHESUS
a.      It was here in Miletus, 30 miles from Ephesus, he called on the Elders in Ephesus to come see him.
i.       The Holy Spirit must have revealed to Paul, and warned him of the upcoming difficulties he will face on this trip, and it is almost as if he is in a hurry because he wants to keep from backing down because of what is to come.

ii.    Like a old bandage, knowing the pain ahead of pulling off, you jerk it as quickly as possible.

b.     When they arrive (3-4 days after sending the messenger)
i.       Paul speaks with them



III. PAUL SAYS GOODBYE TO THEM
a.      Paul Reminds them of the beginning of the church in Ephesus
i.       You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia.

ii.    I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents.

iii. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 

iv.   I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.


b.     Paul then talks about his upcoming journey
i.       And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 

ii.    I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 

iii. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.




c.      Paul then Says goodbye to the Elders
i.       Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.

ii.    Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. 


iii. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.

Next week we will look at the final words and instructions that Paul leaves to the elder's before he travels to Jerusalem.





CONCLUSION

Ø  We need to spend some time alone with the Lord to see where the Holy Spirit wants to lead us.

Ø  We need to know that whatever God has planned for us, He will give us the means, strength and courage to accomplish it.



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