Two chapters left of this wonderful story. Last week we learned about 3 of Paul's mission trips. This week we learn about the last, his return to Jerusalem and then his trip to Rome under arrest. But this was God's plan all along and Paul knew it. The Holy Spirit had warned him over and over that he would be arrested and Paul knew God wanted him to go to Rome.
I could talk about the trip and tell you all the ports Paul stopped at and how he was treated. I could talk about the shipwreck that Paul clearly warned would happen if they tried to continue their trip. But I see a strong warning in these last few chapters we have been reading.
The religious leaders were sure they were right. They knew their laws, rules, and regulations. They knew about the history of their people and they knew many of the prophecies. But they missed that Jesus was the Messiah, they missed that He was sent by God, they missed that all those rules and regulations made it totally clear they COULD NOT make it back to God's presence by following the law. They had their eyes closed to God's true teachings.
I am so happy that as a church we have read The Story from beginning to end. We have seen all the bits and pieces we have learned over the years put together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. And that puzzle shows us that God created us to have a relationship with Him. Sin destroys that relationship and no matter how much God loves us, separates us from Him. We have also learned that God sent Jesus, while we were still sinners, to die on a wicked cross for our sins, yours and mine. Like Paul and Silas told their jailer last week, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved." That's all we have to do. Believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins and that He rose on the third day, and you will be saved. Once saved the God sends the Holy Spirit to help you live the life He wants you to live. One day, when we pass from this earth by death or resurrection, we will live with Jesus forever in paradise. Amen!
Are you living the life God wants you living? Or are you living for something else, something false or temporary?