Sunday, December 31, 2023

943. Paul Arrested - But Still Proclaimed Salvation for Gentiles (Series Conclusion)

We're concluding our series on salvation coming to the Gentiles (this is the 10th program). After the endeavor by James and the church leadership in Jerusalem of trying to convince Paul to deny what he was teaching and to participate in an Old Covenant cleansing ceremony in the attempt to make peace with Jews who were zealous for the law ... Paul was nearly killed by the zealots — many of whom believed in Jesus — and ultimately he was arrested. His course was now completely changed for the rest of his earthly days, living in chains. Having been warned twice by the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem, Paul could have avoided all of this, but he wanted to go and was prepared to be bound and even die on this journey.

Ultimately, Paul would end up under "house arrest" for a couple of years in Rome, where he invited leaders of the Jews to come to him — who were unfamiliar with "the sect" of the Jesus movement other than they knew it was spoken against everywhere. Perhaps Paul's former reputation as a Jew devoted to the ministry of the law from his younger days still carried weight among some of the unbelieving Jews ... because Paul gained an audience with them ... sharing and persuading them of Jesus from morning until evening by using the writings from the law and the prophets. Some believed, others did not.

Paul warned those Jews who refused to believe, using words from the prophet Isaiah and then this follow-up regarding their rejection of the Messiah:

Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it! And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves. Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him (Acts 28: 28-31).

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