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WEEK 8 - Paul is Sent to Rome

This week we will be finishing our trip through the Book of Acts and will find that the book ends at a very unusual point. Paul has been arrested at the request of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem because they want to stop his preaching of the Gospel. He has appealed to Caesar and is sent off on a harrowing journey to Rome and is now under house arrest in the city. The problem is that is where it ends. Luke, the writer of the book of Acts, never tells us what happens when Paul stands in front of Caesar’s court or even if Paul lives or dies. We are left wondering what happens next.

From other sources we know that Paul was most likely released from his imprisonment in Rome and then went on to Spain to preach the Gospel to new lands, but we don’t hear that from Acts. So why the abrupt ending? Why not continue on to include Paul’s trip to Spain or even his martyrdom in Rome in the mid to late 60’s AD?

Well, there are many ideas. Some say that Luke wrote a second book that has been lost to time. The problem with this idea is that no early church writer talks about the existence of a second book. The second and more probable idea is that what Luke wrote was at least partially recorded to serve as a written defense of Paul and his work up to that point for the Roman officials. It is quite possible that the Theophilus that both the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts were written to was a Roman official handling Paul’s case. Therefore, Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke to him as an explanation of who this Jesus guy is and he wrote the book of Acts as a document designed to inform Theophilus and other officials of what Paul had been doing for the last few years. Then, after the Lord used the letters to share the Gospel with Rome, they were shared with the world.

However, no matter what the reason is for the ending without an ending, the way the book of Acts comes to its conclusion fits the 75th Anniversary of Messiah very well. Like Paul, we have come through many trials and tribulations, there have been thousands upon thousands of people saved in this place and like Paul’s story in the book of Acts, our story is not yet done. Messiah is a continuation of the faith that was started, “In the beginning…”. It is a child of the Church that was won and instituted by Christ and it is the fruit of the congregations that God used Paul to plant. We are part of the great History of God’s work and after these first 2016 years of Church history, and 75 years of Messiah’s specific history, the Lord still has work for us to do. May God give us many, many more years in His service. Amen.

Week 8 Readings

To read the text online, click on the readings or their descriptions. To listen to the verses each day, use the player below the readings.  Dates Marked with ** have a video Bible Study also shown below.

October 31st, 2016Acts 25:23-26:23 – Paul’s defense to Agrippa

November 1st, 2016Acts 26:24-32 – Paul witnesses to Agrippa

November 2nd, 2016Acts 27:1-12 – Paul sets sail **

November 3rd, 2016Acts 27:13-26 – The storm

November 4th, 2016Acts 27:27-44 – “It was only supposed to be a 3 hour tour.”

November 5th, 2016Acts 28:1-10 – From shipwreck to snakebite, can the day get any worse.

November 6th, 2016Acts 28:11-31 – Paul preaches in Rome

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Audio Readings


 

 

Videos

Stuff They Didn't Teach Me in Sunday School

 

OCTOBER 2: Episode 159
Is This the End or a New Beginning?

 

The Plan Bible Reading Schedule and weekly intros © Rev. Kurt Klaus 2013

“Stuff They Didn’t Teach Me In Sunday School” ©  Lutheran Hour Ministries 2013

The Scripture readings are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™    If you would like to purchase a Bible like the ones we are using in church please visit Biblica.