top of page

RELIGION IS EASY, HEART CHANGE IS A DIFFERENT STORY

Acts 28:17-31 | Part 54

 


 

  • End of Acts, what a journey!

  • This is the next to last trip, or missionary journey of Paul’s life

  • He will be released after this imprisonment, free for several years, buty never returns to Jerusalem, then is imprisoned again in Rome

  • At the end of this, Paul is beheaded. Martyred for Christ



Acts 28:17-31 After three days he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had gathered he said to them, “Brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18 After they examined me, they wanted to release me, since there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 19 Because the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar; even though I had no charge to bring against my people. 20 For this reason I’ve asked to see you and speak to you. In fact, it is for the hope of Israel that I’m wearing this chain.”
  • Paul is sent to Caesarea after the riot in the temple of Jerusalem

  • He has to wait for 3 years

  • Paul recaps for them his process in getting to Rome

  • Paul leaves for Rome in the Fall of 59 AD

  • Paul arrives in Rome in the Spring of 60 AD, takes him 6 months to get there

  • He is then under house arrest for two years, waiting for trial before Cesar.

  • While under house arrest, he writes the prison epistles:

    • Ephesians

    • Philippians

    • Colossians

    • Philemon



  • 5 years before trial.

  • Anyone waiting for change? Waiting for a loved one to come to Christ? Waiting for any type of need? You are in good company. Don’t complain, continue to pray!


21 Then they said to him, “We haven’t received any letters about you from Judea. None of the brothers has come and reported or spoken anything evil about you. 22 But we want to hear what your views are, since we know that people everywhere are speaking against this sect.”
  • Nice when you can speak for yourself, amen?

  • Nice when people don’t have preconceived ideas about you

  • It’s also nice when we as believers choose to set those aside about others as well, amen?


The Response to Paul’s Message 23 After arranging a day with him, many came to him at his lodging. From dawn to dusk he expounded and testified about the kingdom of God. He tried to persuade them about Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets. 24 Some were persuaded by what he said, but others did not believe.
  • Paul speaks from four different standpoints:

1.) The law (OT)

  • What does the Bible say?

  • Does the OT matter, or is it just history?

  • Do we see the Gospel in the OT?

2.) The prophets (experience of others and prophecy)

  • Men and Women of God called to speak the truth

  • Most of them were not listened to

  • Does this have any relevance to us today?

3.) Testimony (Paul’s personal experience)

  • What is your testimony, Christian?

  • Where have you been broken down? Beat down? Disregarded? Disrespected, Discarded??? Does this keep you from doing ministry?

  • On the contrary, it EMPOWERS you, only in Christ to do the opposite. To speak up (Because of Christ), to speak out (About Christ), and to tell the truth (His name is Jesus)

4.) History (what has happened)

  • This involved the following verses

  • Listen to what Paul says next:


25 Disagreeing among themselves, they began to leave after Paul made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah 26 when he said,

Religion is easy to agree with. Heart change and surrender to Christ is a different story.

Go to these people and say: You will always be listening, but never understanding; and you will always be looking, but never perceiving. 27 For the hearts of these people have grown callous, their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.
  • You can HEAR the truth and agree with it, but never comprehend YOUR call to humble yourself, YOUR call to forgive, YOUR call to stop worshipping self and start serving others

  • You can SEE the needs of people, the work of the saints, and the change in people, and never JOIN the effort because you believe you are just fine and others are the ones in need

  • How is this possible??

  • Because when we choose not to obey in ACTION:

  1. We don’t hear the truth anymore

  2. We don’t see the truth anymore

  3. We don’t walk in the truth anymore


28 Therefore, let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

Paul’s Ministry Unhindered 30 Paul stayed two whole years in his own rented house. And he welcomed all who visited him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
  • Unable to leave

  • Most would declare inability to do anything productive

  • Paul chooses to do what he had done in multiple countries for years:

  1. Proclaimed the Gospel

  2. Taught the Gospel

  3. Boldly obeyed

26 views

Recent Posts

bottom of page