Suffering and Deliverance (Part 43) - Paul (Part C)


H. Paul was persecuted, beaten, and imprisoned in Philippi. i. Paul cast an unclean spirit out of a woman who made her masters a lot of money by soothsaying (Act 16:16-18). ii. When her masters realized their gains were gone they brought Paul and Silas before the magistrates and accused them of troubling the city and teaching unlawful customs (Act 16:19-21). iii. The people rose up against them and the magistrates stripped them naked and commanded that they be beaten (Act 16:22). iv. After they had beaten them repeatedly they cast them into prison and put their feet in the stocks (Act 16:23-24). v. Stock n. - 17. Stocks, plu. A machine consisting of two pieces of timber, in which the legs of criminals are confined by way of punishment. (Webster's 1828) vi. Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God despite their suffering (Act 16:25). vii. Long story short, the Lord sent a great earthquake which opened the prison and loosed the bands that held them (Act 16:26), the jailer and his family was converted and baptized (Act 16:33-34), and they were released from prison the next day (Act 16:39-40). viii. The LORD had again delivered Paul from persecution. I. Paul was persecuted in Thessalonica. i. Paul went to Thessalonica after leaving Philippi and preached Christ in the synagogue (Act 17:1-3). ii. Many believed including a great multitude of devout Greeks and many of the chief women (Act 17:4). iii. The unbelieving Jews were envious and used a bunch of lowlifes to gather a company of people to create and uproar in the city and assaulted the house of Jason hoping to find Paul and Silas, but they didn't find them (Act 17:5-6). a. The brethren sent Paul and Silas by night to Berea (Act 17:10). b. There is a time to hide and flee. c. It is wise to flee by night to avoid being caught (Act 9:25). iv. The LORD had again delivered Paul from persecution. J. Paul was persecuted in Berea. i. When Paul arrived in Berea he preached the word and many believed including many honorable women and men (Act 17:11-12). ii. When the Jews from Thessalonica found out they came to Berea and stirred up the people, and Paul was sent away to Athens (Act 17:13-15). iii. The LORD again delivered Paul from persecution. a. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all (Psa 34:19). b. We must follow Paul's example and never let persecution deter us. K. Paul was persecuted in Corinth. i. After Paul preached the word for a year and a half at Corinth, the Jews made insurrection against him and brought him to the judgment seat (Act 18:11-12). ii. Insurrection n. – 1. The action of rising in arms or open resistance against established authority or governmental restraint; with pl., an instance of this, an armed rising, a revolt; an incipient or limited rebellion. iii. They charged him with persuading people to worship God contrary to the law (Act 18:13). iv. Before Paul could even give his defense the judge dismissed the charge saying he would not be a judge of religious controversies (Act 18:14-16). v. Paul remained there for a good while before leaving (Act 18:18). vi. The LORD again delivered Paul from persecution by a civil magistrate whose heart was in His hand (Pro 21:1). L. Paul was spared from harm in Ephesus. i. Paul spent over two years in Ephesus disputing with the Jews until all that dwelt in Asia had heard the word of the Lord (Act 19:8-10). ii. Many of the pagan Ephesians were converted and renounced their occult religion (Act 19:19-20). iii. This stirred up the people (Act 19:23). a. A man named Demetrius, being concerned about losing his livelihood of idol-making, created an uproar among the people (Act 19:24-28). b. Two of Paul's companions were dragged into the theatre by the mob (Act 19:29). c. These people were acting like brute beasts (1Co 15:32). d. Paul tried to enter the theatre, but his friends stopped him (Act 19:30-31). e. The chaotic tumult continued for two hours (Act 19:32-34). f. The townclerk finally stopped the madness and dismissed the assembly (Act 19:35-41). iv. We can't know what would have happened if Paul would have gone into the theatre, but it's certainly possible he could have been beaten or killed by the mob. v. The LORD had delivered him from suffering or death by his wise friends. M. The Jews attempt to kill Paul in Greece. i. After the uproar ceased in Ephesus, Paul went to Macedonia and then to Greece (Act 20:1-2). ii. He was there for three months until he found out that the Jews laid wait to kill him, so he changed his travel plans and returned through Macedonia instead of sailing into Syria (Act 20:3). iii. These were difficult times for Paul (Act 20:19). iv. Paul was being prudent and foresaw the evil and hid himself rather than passing on and being punished (Pro 22:3). v. We must be flexible and willing to change plans when necessary if we are to make wise decisions.
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