To the Ends of the Earth: The Story Goes On...

Sermon from CCM Heatons

LISTEN

This sermon was preached by Andy Kenyon at the CCM Heatons site of Christ Church Manchester on Sunday 17th March 2024.

BIBLE VERSES

This sermon was based on Acts 28:11-31.

Paul Arrives at Rome

11After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods as a figurehead. 12Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium. And after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14There we found brothers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. 16And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.

Paul in Rome

17After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 19But because the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar—though I had no charge to bring against my nation. 20For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.” 21And they said to him, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. 22But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against.”

23When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. 25And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:

26 “‘Go to this people, and say,

“You will indeed hear but never understand,

and you will indeed see but never perceive.”

27 For this people’s heart has grown dull,

and with their ears they can barely hear,

and their eyes they have closed;

lest they should see with their eyes

and hear with their ears

and understand with their heart

and turn, and I would heal them.’

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

30He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, 31proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.

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