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well good morning everyone it’s great to see you all this morning and uh you know I’m glad to be up here um but I have to admit you know Alex has done a terrific job taking us through acts and now I’m gonna do the last one in the series and that doesn’t seem to be quite fair but um I’ll do it but I’d love to hear what Alex would say about these in fact you know as we went through acts you know we kind of focused on that the first part and then we had a couple times dealing with Paul who was formerly called Saul who was on his missionary journey when he went to Philippi when he went to Athens and now we’re coming to the end and I’d love to see us revisit acts and do the second part of acts together sometime so I’ll just put that out as a request to Alex and um hey it’s going to be on tape so it’s there for all to see um I I welcome

you and you know we’re coming to thanksgiving it’s going to be a great time then we come to advent and um tonight Kerry and I are gonna hop on a plane and uh we’re gonna go back east and we’re gonna go back east for a family celebration my mom now this kind of gives away my age a little bit I always thought it was my hairstyle but my mom is turning a hundred this week and we’re going to have a chance to celebrate her yeah it’s a neat time it’s a neat time it’s going to be a sweet time and just reflecting as a family together but you know it kind of sets me into this thing of realizing hey we’re a family together and we reflect every week together we’re a community and I want to help us just kind of dig into some as we look at acts in which we see the birth of the church we see the birth of this community that’s been going generation after

generation after generation up until right now and will continue to go it’s amazing to see how I think there are two I’ll say solid themes that come in acts and are still as important today as they were back then and those two themes come out in the first couple verses of acts so we’re going to go back to the beginning of acts and just see what the author of acts his name is Luke but see what he kind of says as he’s getting ready to write this book now I would just preface all this by saying we’re going to go through like six chapters so if you’re gonna try to follow in your bibles it may be a little hard and I apologize about that we’re gonna fly through these so I’ll try to have the scriptures up there but just so you know it is the bible okay here we go uh back at verse 1 of chapter 1 in my first book I told you Theophilus about everything Jesus began to do

and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the holy spirit now he’s talking about his gospel or the biography of Jesus that he wrote Luke wrote during the 40 days after he suffered and died he appeared to the apostles from time to time and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive now that just seems a little odd to me um he’s with them he’s standing in front of them and he’s proving to them that he’s alive which means that some of them said prove to me you’re alive the resurrection from the dead Jesus was the first one to rise from the dead and that’s one of those themes that we get in the book of acts throughout the good news that Jesus is alive the

resurrection’s for real the resurrection brings a change a transformation if we really believe that there’s a resurrection from the dead and there will be a resurrection from the dead in the future it should bring an immediate impact on our lives right now and sometimes that immediate impact yeah we can be a little bit uh I don’t know scared sometimes to speak up about it because face it the resurrection can be kind of a stumbling block for some people and we don’t like to be criticized for something that we believe so strongly so there’s the next verse that he has in Luke chapter one and he talked to them about the kingdom of God once when he was eating with them he commanded them do not leave Jerusalem until the father sends you the gift he promised as I told you before john baptized with water but in just a few days you’re

going to be baptized with the holy spirit here’s this wonderful transforming belief about the resurrection and now here’s this wonderful transforming gift of the holy spirit of God himself who comes to dwell within us to empower us to be able to have that courage to be able to have that creativity to be able to know the words to share and so the second principle is hey this was God’s plan so he could live within us the holy spirit is for real and we see that on page after page after page after page of acts we see we see that the transforming power of these people who are a small scared little group and then the holy spirit came upon them and suddenly they have this courage to go out and speak to all these people on Pentecost and there’s thousands that come to believe and throughout the pages we see time and time again sometimes there’s

victory sometimes there’s questions and challenges sometimes it makes so much sense and other times it’s kind of why but the holy spirit is there all along the way and the power of the resurrection is there all along the way and it brings us then toward the end of acts in this life of Paul as we’re going to see how he ends but as I think of this transforming power of the resurrection I have to go back um I’ve been around south for a while and years ago there was a song that we used a chorus that we used to sing it doesn’t have any tricky metally or melody so we probably won’t sing it much today but the words are powerful every morning’s easter morning from now on every day is resurrection day the past is over and gone goodbye fear goodbye guilt good riddance hello lord hello son I am one of the easter people my new life is

begun I always have that going through my mind and um I don’t know how to end it but you know we used to sing it over and over and over but it makes someone say goodbye fear goodbye guilt good riddance because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ these things are put away the past is over and done and now we’re starting a new life with him a transformative life in which we are called with his purpose and power to step into the world to be his hands and feet that’s amazing and the spirit empowers us to do it and we’re going to see how Paul with his with his belief in the resurrection with the power of the holy spirit he endured he persevered he was determined at the end of this book of acts to do something I’m going to pick up here’s a map of what we call Paul’s third missionary journey which means he had two before that um so

he had three missionary journeys and you know Alex has been kind of focusing the last couple weeks on some things that happened during the second missionary journey when he went to Philippi and when he went down to Athens and spoke in both of those places that happened on his second missionary journey but in this third one we see where Paul went and he visited some of the churches that he had already planted and then he came to Ephesus and in Ephesus it tells us he stayed there for three whole years teaching and preaching and uh and telling them more and more about the resurrection and while he was there he heard that the church in Jerusalem was suffering because it was a famine and many of the people were very needy so he let all of his churches know that he had planted he let them know that this was going on in Jerusalem

and he wanted them to put money together and then he was going to take a big offering a big gift back to the church in Jerusalem so they could have it so that’s when you see him going over there into Greece and some of those places Macedonia and then you see that purple line that purple line is when he’s coming back towards Jerusalem and he sails back to Jerusalem and he lands at a place down there if you can read that word tire he lands it tire and here’s what happens in tire some people come to we went ashore we found the local believers we stayed with them a week these believers prophesied through the holy spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem when we returned to the ship at the end of the week the entire congregation including women and children left the city came down to the shore with us they there we now

prayed and set our farewells then we went aboard and they returned home you know I read that and I go now wait a minute wait I thought the holy spirit said don’t go and it doesn’t seem like Paul stopped they went um they went down the coast a little bit and they ended up a place called Caesarea and in Caesarea this happened several days later a man named Agabus who also had the gift of prophecy arrived from Judah he came over took Paul’s belt bound his own feet and hands with it he said the holy spirit declares so shall the owner of this belt be bound by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and turned over to the gentiles and when we heard this we and the local believers all begged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem so I ask you what’s going on here because Paul went on to Jerusalem um you know when we look at the apostle Paul and if we

come back to acts we’ll look a little bit deeper into this but Paul listen to the holy spirit he didn’t disobey the spirit if I go back to this map right here if I go back to this map now this is the third missionary journey but what happened when he went on a second journey notice where Ephesus is he never got to Ephesus in fact he wanted to go to Ephesus but he started going and all of a sudden the spirit said no he it says he hindered him from going so Paul stopped I don’t know if he heard a voice I don’t know what happened but the spirit hindered him from going to Ephesus and Paul obeyed that so then he was going to go up to see that big word Asia right up in there is a is a province like Bithynia it’s called and he thought well it makes sense I’ll just go up north I’ll go to Bethania and the spirit stopped him from going there hindered him from

going both times he listened and I’m sure both times he said what gives come on and he ended up going over to Troas and when he was in Troas he had a dream and the dream said come across to us come over to Macedonia come over to Greece and speak to us and he interpreted that as the holy spirit he went now back to the third journey I’m sorry if I’m mixing you up but back to the third journey you see that purple line that’s after Paul collected all this money for Jerusalem and then he hopped on a boat and he went across and ended up down in tyre but when you look there it says he stopped not far from Ephesus and when he went to Ephesus he asked for the elders of the Ephesian church to come meet with him and basically he said goodbye to him and this is what he said to them and realized this was a few days before he got

to tyre and heard some of these prophecies about not going to Jerusalem he said to the folks in Ephesus and now I’m bound by the spirit to go to Jerusalem I don’t know what awaits me except that the holy spirit tells me in city after city that jail and suffering lie ahead but my life’s worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the lord Jesus the work of telling others the good news the wonderful news of the grace of God the wonderful news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ the wonderful news that the holy spirit empowers us I’ve got to go but you wonder wow his spirit is he’s bound by the spirit and the holy spirit tells him in city after city he’s going to suffer so I had to go back and do a little bit of digging and you know the bible was written in Aramaic and Greek and when I got back into the Greek I found

that that word spirit is pneumonia pneumatos pneumatus and that was that was there but right there where it says holy spirit there was also a second word agios which means holy and it defined the spirit it said this is the holy spirit who’s saying when you go you’re going to face jail and all kinds of persecution the first word and now I’m bound by the spirit to go to Jerusalem when I looked it was just pneumatos it didn’t have any aggios with it so it was just spirit and some people have translated that as saying Paul is saying I’m bound by my conscience I’m bound by my spirit to go because God’s spirit himself has told me yes I’m going to suffer but I’ve got to complete the work so I went back to the other things that were said to Agabus he came over took Paul’s belt bound his hand and feet and he said the holy spirit declares it and guess

what when I went in there yes it was agios and pneumatos it was holy spirit and when you look at his message it doesn’t contradict what God was telling him in Ephesus it’s the very same thing you’re going to suffer when I went to that other passage in tyre we went ashore found the local believers stayed with them a week these believers prophesied through the spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem in other words when I got in there and looked there wasn’t that word aguios there was just pneumatus now I know we can open up a whole can of worms when we get into this but I believe what was going on there these people were very well meaning and they were saying hey we’ve heard that things are going to be bad if you go to Jerusalem don’t go we feel in our spirit that you’re not to go to Jerusalem um you know I I guess uh I would I

would share a little personal situation that Kerry and I had and many well most of you know that Kerry and I have never been able to have children and that’s a great sadness for us and we’ve learned to live with that but years ago I’ve been at south a number of years and back in 1999 when I was an associate pastor earlier we went with a group of students from south down to Mexico and we had a great trip it was an amazing time and it stretched us out of our comfort zones I can still remember when we drove in we’d been driving on a bus all day we’d been driving all day Saturday we got there Sunday night about 4 45 and we were told we were going to be at a church at 5 30 and I had to preach a sermon that was out of my comfort zone but uh Thursday night I had fair warning so I was able to preach on Thursday night things went quite a

bit better we had a great time in this service and Kerry shared her story and she shared how we couldn’t have children and she was a teacher I was I can see this so clearly at the end of the service they were having some great times of worship and it was a much more emotional service and um all of a sudden coming down the aisle was this older gentleman with tears flowing down his face and he was raising his hands and he was just speaking in Spanish and I had no idea what he was saying and the missionary just kind of turned to me and said uh dan you better get prepared I said oh and anyway he came down and basically he announced the whole church God had told him that this woman was going to have a child and so they called Kerry down to join me and probably 40 people gathered around and laid hands and everybody

was praying they laid hands all over Kerry they were praying all over and I’m sitting there saying wow okay lord and the missionary said you better go home and paint your nursery I’m looking in the back of the church two rows of kids students at south who are sitting there saying what in the world is going on um we had to download that summon we said hey let’s meet in 10 months and see if this comes out we met in 10 months and as you can imagine no we didn’t have a child um and Kerry and I have had to wrestle and deal with that that will always be in my mind but I believe every one of those people in that church loved Jesus to the max and the last thing they wanted was for us not to have a child and so in their heart of hearts they were saying you’re gonna have a child but it says in scripture to test the spirits to make sure to make sure

this is a message coming from Jesus anyway I believe very much that Paul as he’s coming back these people met so much they so much didn’t want to see Paul suffer but he said I’ve got to go because I have to complete the work of telling others the good news about the grace of God and so he went to Jerusalem and guess what everything broke loose he goes to Jerusalem he meets with the apostles and the leaders of the Jerusalem church and they say you know some people are really questioning if you’re preaching against the law of Moses as as we present Jesus Christ and so Paul said okay I’ll go to the temple and I will prove that I still love the law of Moses but Jesus is the one who’d come and freeze us and so he went to the temple and while he was at the temple it was Pentecost so there were a lot of people there and some of the

Jewish men from Ephesus had hopped on a boat and come all the way over to Jerusalem to worship at Pentecost and when they saw Paul they recognized this man who had taught there for three years and they started sending out rumors that he had tried to undermine the Jewish faith listen to what happened the whole city was rocked by these accusations and a great riot followed and Paul was grabbed and dragged out of the temple and immediately the gates were closed behind him and as they were trying to kill him they were trying to kill him word reached to the roman to the commander of the roman regiment that all Jerusalem was in an uproar and he immediately called out of soldiers and officers they ran down among the crowd and when the mob saw the commander and the troops coming they stopped beating Paul now there’s

some pretty physical violence going on here and I would think oh my goodness you know if I were Paul you might say I should have listened but he was grabbed and he was dragged by a mob and then they were trying to kill him who knows what they were doing to him but at that time word comes to a commander in the roman legion that this is happening so he musters his forces and he comes down and dissipates it but that takes some time I think Paul was looking in pretty bad shape by the time they got there anyway the roman soldiers get around Paul they protect him they’re walking with Paul out of this mob and Paul says to him would you let me speak to my people wow he’s just been beaten up and now he wants to speak to them and so he speaks to them he shares that hey he’s just here to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus and

this happens the mob grew so violent at that that the soldiers had to lift him to their shoulders to protect him and the crowd followed behind shouting kill him kill him kill him boy I can’t imagine being in his shoes and it just reminds me it reminds me when the holy spirit speaks it may not always be good news but it will be truthful when the holy spirit speaks and he does speak and his presence is with us but sometimes we have this picture of such a loving God who’s our best friend and he would never hurt us he would never discourage us it may not always be good news but he will provide the power to be able to follow into his truth and it reminds me of a verse that Paul gives us in romans when he said and we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his

purpose for them God will go with us into his truth and like Paul yes I I’m not saying Paul was not afraid man I’d be so afraid if I had a mob after me but the spirit of God kept him alive and kept him moving forward so that he could proclaim the good news um there’s four characters that we’re gonna see now four characters that Paul has the opportunity to be able to live in front of speak to and these four characters I doubt that he ever would have had the opportunity to come into their presence if he hadn’t followed the holy spirit’s leading to Jerusalem the first is a roman tribune Claudius lycias and Claudius lycias is the one who came down and saved Paul’s life from that mob he was in charge of a cohort which is part of a legion of roman soldiers a cohort is about 600 soldiers so this man was no pansy but he led these

soldiers there in Jerusalem which was a tough place to have a cohort of roman soldiers um so he not only saved Paul’s life then but he saved Paul’s life a couple other times that we’re going to see the next person that comes in is Marcus Antonius Felix he was a governor of Judea or a procurator of Judea this guy was kind of a he was kind of a character he ruled about eight to nine years in Judea he was known for being very rather vicious and uh cruel and also he was kind of conniving he was very greedy anyway Felix the next one is uh Porsche’s Festus Porsche Festus now he was the next governor that came in which kind of gives you a clue that Paul was under prison arrest for quite a period of time here enough time so that these two governors one could be deposed while the other one came in and what happened to Felix was that he got

a little too cruel and Caesar called him back to Rome and he was demoted at that point whereas Festus then was appointed to come in to uh Jerusalem into Caesarea and Judea and the final character we’re going to see is herod Agrippa the second herod Agrippa the second is king of Judea all four of these individuals have some kind of interaction with Paul over the next four chapters and we’re going to fly through these four chapters first lycias has this idea if I can just bring Paul together with this council of Jews uh the Jewish counselors then they’ll be able to reason together and I can find out what’s going on here so he brings them together and Paul says brothers I’m a pharisee as were my ancestors and I’m on trial because my hope is in the resurrection of the dead and guess what happened after he said that a conflict grew more

violent and the commander was afraid they’d tear Paul apart now this is about a day later and these people are still after Paul’s neck because he believes in the resurrection because he believes in what all the Jews were hoping for that the messiah would come so he ordered his soldiers to go and rescue him by force and take him back to the fortress after doing that he uncovered a plot he would he was told about a plot that they wanted to kill Paul as they were going to escort him to the governor and he intervened with that but that night as Paul was lying in the jail cell and I have a feeling probably pretty bloodied probably pretty bruised this happened that night the lord appeared to Paul and said be encouraged Paul just as you have been a witness for to me here in Jerusalem you must preach the good news in Rome as well so

he has that promise he has a determination the resurrection is for real he knows the holy spirit is with him lyceus realizes it’s probably a little bit too hot to have him down here so I’m going to send him to Caesarea and I’m going to send him there by night so that there won’t be anybody along the way to assassinate him and he writes a letter to the governor Felix and he says these words when I learned that he was a roman citizen I removed him to safety but then I took him to their high council to try to learn the basis of the accusations against him and I soon discovered the charge was something regarding their religious law it was certainly nothing worthy of imprisonment or death so he had him taken up to Caesarea which is in the north part of Judea and governor Felix met him read Leicester’s letter and said okay I’m going to bring that

Jewish council up here and we’re going to hear what happened so he had the council come up there and uh they presented their argument they had a hot shot lawyer with them who presented their pa their case and then Paul stood in front of Felix and said these words these men cannot prove the things they accuse me of doing but I do admit that I follow the way which they call a cult I worship the God of our ancestors I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets I have the same hope and God that these men have that he will raise both the righteous and the unrighteous the resurrection the resurrection um he’s saying that in front of this council which half of that council didn’t believe that there was a resurrection and Paul’s saying this before the governor I believe in the resurrection um he also

says ask these men hear what crime the Jewish high council found me guilty of except for the one time I shouted I’m on trial before you today because I believe in the resurrection of the dead at that point Felix said okay enough and he called the closing uh he called it to a closing and he sent the council back to Jerusalem and he sent Paul back to prison but listen to what happened next a few days later Felix came back with his wife Drusilla who was Jewish sending for Paul they listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus as he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control in the coming day of judgment Felix became frightened go away for now he replied and when I looked up that word frightened it really means frightened which probably says a lot about his character that he would be frightened that here’s this

prisoner talking about righteousness and talking about justice and all of a sudden he starts to get convicted when it’s more convenient I’ll call you again and get this he also hoped that Paul would bribe him I’m not sure where he expected Paul to get the money unless he heard that maybe Paul had come to Jerusalem with a large offering for the Jerusalem church I’m not sure but for some reason he thought he could get money out of Paul but look at the last one so he sent for him quite often and he talked with him this lasted for two years two years that Felix didn’t let him out of prison two years that Felix would call him to come to him and talk two years that they would dialogue back and forth two years that Paul would share about the resurrection of Jesus Christ like I said Felix went a little too far he got a little too violent at one

point and Caesar called him back and so then he sent Festus and Festus came and Festus learned from the Jews that there was this guy Paul in his jail up there in Caesarea and Festus said well okay come up and talk to me about Paul and so they had a little interaction and then Paul said to Festus I’m not guilty of any crimes against the Jewish laws of the temple of the roman government if I’ve done something worthy of death I don’t refuse to die but if I’m innocent no one has a right to turn me over to these men to kill me I appeal to Caesar up until this time Paul has really had freedom to be able to go around and share his faith he’s been able to travel all around the roman empire now Paul is in jail Paul is confined and to tell you the truth Paul is dependent on the holy spirit to come up with his travel arrangements he is now in

a prison cell and he’s able to talk to Festus the governor um when his accusers came here this is Festus talking now and I should back up because Festus heard Paul and then sent Paul back to the jail cell and then king Agrippa came and he’s trying to explain to herod Agrippa the second about this prisoner when his accusers came for the trial I didn’t delay I called the case in the very next day and I ordered Paul brought in but the accusations met against him weren’t any of the crimes I expected instead it was something about their religion and a dead man named Jesus who Paul insists is alive I was at a loss to know how to investigate these things you know I read that and I thought man if Paul can be in a jail cell and he insists that Jesus is alive I should be able to do that over a cup of coffee isn’t this something how integral the resurrection is the

power of the resurrection the transformation of the resurrection Festus is explaining this to king herod ii inherits says well let’s hear Paul let’s let him share and so this is what Paul shares with uh Festus and Agrippa he says if they would admit it they know that I’ve been a member of the pharisees the strictest sect of our religion now I’m on trial because of my hope in the fulfillment of God’s promise made to our ancestors yet your majesty they accused me because I have this hope why does it seem incredible to any of you that God can raise the dead some Jews arrested me in the temple for preaching this and they tried to kill me but God has protected me right up to the present time so I can testify to everyone from the least to the greatest I teach nothing except what the prophets and Moses said would happen that the

messiah would suffer and be the first to rise from the dead and in this way announce God’s light to Jews and gentiles alike and at that point governor Festus interrupted and said Paul I think you’ve lost your mind you’ve been reading too much the resurrection can be a stumbling block believing that the dead can come alive can stretch people so much but the resurrection is so crucial and look what herod Agrippa says do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly now that almost sounds like it’s a challenge some other versions put it this way you almost persuade me to become a Christian wow four men four chapters and at the end of each chapter you hear this same theme this man has done nothing to deserve capital punishment he does not deserve death but he’s appealed to Caesar so he’s got to go to Rome

and so he starts the next section of his journey with the holy spirit as his tour guide he hops on a boat he’s put on a ship and he’s going to be sent to Rome where he’s supposed to talk to Caesar and this is a little map of the of the trip that the boat takes when he goes um and I’ll just highlight a few things it goes up to Sidon that’s the first place they go to and Sidon actually the commander who was in charge of these uh the prisoners who were on this boat the commander lets Paul have freedom to be able to go and visit some friends inside so you can see Paul and this commander his name is Julius are starting to be able to know each other some then they hop back in the boat again and you see it curves around that they were in and this storm lasted for two weeks and there’s a verse in here that says they couldn’t see the sun they

couldn’t see the moon they couldn’t see the stars to be able to figure out where they were they thought they were going to crash into the shore of north Africa this was such a violent storm that the sailors actually took ropes and tried to lash the hull together I don’t know who went underneath to put the rope underneath and back up but they tried to keep the boat together that way it was being tossed torn apart and I can just imagine Paul he’s not in a jail sound now but he’s down the base of this boat and they’re being tossed all over and he’s probably thinking to himself I thought I was going to get to Rome it says that all the sailors and all the people on this boat didn’t eat anything for two weeks in this storm at first I thought that’s a that’s a stretch until I kind of put myself in their shoes and realized I probably would have lost anything

I would have eaten if I had a storm like that Paul says these words to him in the middle of the storm no one had eaten for a long time finally Paul called the crew together and said men you should have listened to me in the first place and not left Crete you would have avoided all this damage and lost but take courage none of you will lose your lives even though the ship is going to go down last night an angel the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and he said don’t be afraid Paul for you will surely stand trial before Caesar what’s more God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you so take courage for I believe God I believe it will be just as he said but we are going to be shipwrecked and we’re going to be on an island wow and you know what it happened just like that they were tossed around some more

um the storm was fierce they couldn’t tell where they were but as they were starting to take soundings they realized oh we’re coming to some landmass and the sailors actually thought there’s no way we can bring this boat in so they tried to steal the lifeboats and get off themselves the soldiers caught them before they could do that and then the soldiers cut the lifeboats and let the lifeboats go so nobody could get off the boat and the boat was driven farther and farther in and finally you know it looked like it was inevitable they were going to hit these rocks and so the soldiers themselves thought well these prisoners if they escape it’s our neck so they pulled out their swords and they were ready to execute these prisoners when the commander Julius stepped in and said no Paul said everyone’s going to let make it so we’re

going to make it together isn’t that amazing and sure enough they hit the rocks the boat went to smithereens the commander or the captain of the ship said everybody grab some wood and take it wherever it takes you and everybody got to shore safely but the drama didn’t stop there um they’re soaking wet it’s a storm as things began to die down they built a bonfire to and the people from the town came to help them and in the middle of gathering wood Paul gets bit by a snake a viper it’s hanging from his hand and it says the people from the town were saying oh this guy must really be a bad criminal because his justice is caught up with him and Paul shakes the snake off it goes in the fire and then they’re watching him saying this guy’s going to swell up and he’s going to burst right in front of us and he didn’t and he was healed and they said he’s a

God and then a little while later this happens near the shore where we landed which was in this island of Malta was an estate belong to the Publius the chief official of the island and he welcomed us and he treated us kindly for three days as it happened Publius’s father was ill with fever and dysentee Paul went in and prayed for him and laying his hands on him he healed him then all the other sick people on the island came and they were healed as well and as a result we were showered with honors and when the time came to sail people supplied us with everything we would need for the trip the holy spirit the holy spirit with them every step of the way and they were provided with the means to be able to get from Malta up to Italy and from Italy where they landed up to Rome and when they got into Rome it’s amazing but Paul as he’s

coming there and he’s anticipating I’m going to appeal to Caesar I’m going to be before Caesar but the first thing he does is call the Jewish synagogue and say I want to meet with you as leaders and here’s what he says to them I asked you to come here today so we could get acquainted and so I could explain to you that I’m bound with this change because I believe that the hope of Israel the messiah has already come he explained and he testified about the kingdom of God and he tried to persuade them about Jesus from the scriptures using the law of Moses in the books of the prophets he spoke to them from morning until evening but guess what he persuaded some he didn’t persuade others the spirit worked with some spirit did work with others and Paul stayed in a rest there in Rome for two years and that is the end of acts he

didn’t die at the end he still has some life to live but he spent two years in prison waiting to talk to Caesar but listen to this as the closing of acts for the next two years Paul lived in Rome at his own expense he welcomed all who visited him boldly proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the lord Jesus Christ and no one tried to stop him wow what a journey what a determination because the resurrection is true the resurrection is for real and what an empowerment because the holy spirit was with him every step of the way guiding him and I’m convinced that the same is true of us today the resurrection’s for real every morning is easter morning from now on every day is resurrection day the past is over it’s gone goodbye guilt goodbye fear good riddance because the resurrection’s for real and the holy spirit empowers us

um I wonder what Paul might have said to folks who would come visit him and I’m just going to read some last verses that are written in a letter to Corinth and the reason I’m reading it is because Corinth the letters that he wrote to Corinth first and second Corinthians that was written just before he hopped on that boat and came across to Jerusalem where all of this drama began to unfold and so this is some of his latest thought here’s what he said and this is a paraphrase from the message now let me ask you something profound yet troubling if you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive risen from the dead how can you let people say that there’s no such thing as a resurrection it seems like there were some people right in that Corinthian church who were saying you know I love this stuff about

Jesus but not the resurrection you just can’t believe that that’s too much and Paul’s challenging them saying no the resurrection is key if there’s no resurrection there’s no living Christ and face it if there’s no resurrection for Christ everything we’ve told you smoke and mirrors and everything you’ve staked your life on is smoke and mirrors not only that but we’d be guilty of telling a string of bare-faced lies about God all these affidavits we passed unto you verifying that God raised up Christ sheer fabrication if there’s no resurrection if corpses can’t be raised well then Christ wasn’t because he was in indeed dead and if Christ wasn’t raised well then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark as lost as ever it’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection because they’re already in their grave if all we get out of

Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years we’re a pretty sorry lot but the truth is that Christ has been raised he has been the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries and I believe that includes each and every one of us you know I I think of how I’m going to be going home tonight I’m going to see mom and we’re going to celebrate her 100th birthday which face it most people don’t get to that um we had a little open house for her yesterday and I wasn’t able to be there but my brother I talked to him last night and he said you know the interesting thing happened there was probably about 30 people all sitting there in the room they were all chatting and everything kind of quieted down and then mom just said very clearly to one of the ladies who used to sing in their church said hey donna would you sing at

my funeral everybody’s going whoa we’re here to celebrate your life but you know what she has said to me so many times on Monday mornings when we talk on the phone dan I want to go home I want to go home she totally believes in the resurrection now I know I’ll see her someday too and I believe each and every one of us the resurrection is so pivotal to our faith yes it can be a stumbling block and you know what God will take it when it’s when we stumble and he’ll help us to step back up and he’ll walk with us more and more into the power of that knowledge of the resurrection is true and that his holy spirit is walking with us let’s bow our heads in a word of prayer our dear heavenly father I thank you so much you are here I thank you so much that you were there with Paul I thank you so much you’re the way you spoke to

him and the way you revealed him that he was going to get to Rome the way you got them they’re safe and sound what a what a picture what a story what a fact and lord I thank you that today you are here and you are walking with each and every one of us the resurrection is real we love you thank you God thank you Jesus thank you holy spirit amen as Aaron in the band get ready uh to lead us in our last song I just want to share one thing this is kind of a little family news um but you know I think back to that story in Mexico when Kerry and I were there and when they came down and prophesied over us and we never had a child um it was a about a year after that time as someone from here at south who I highly respect and love and still do came to me as well and spoke to me and said dan I don’t usually say things like this but I just

sense God is telling me to say to you you’re going to have a little girl and you’re to call her grace I said well thank you and I went home and shared that with Kerry and you know I was playing with the Greek one day you know and I said okay grace Greek in grace in Greek is karis and I thought hey that’s the name we’re going to name our little girl charis and her nickname will be Kerry that makes all the sense in the world we were excited we were ready you know years passed and it never happened and Kerry wrestled through that wrestled through that and finally asked well I wonder I wonder who my charis really is and she came to the conviction to believe that you know what my charis is those 20 or 25 students that I have every year in second grade that I’m teaching that I’m investing my life in that I want them to know about the

resurrection of Jesus Christ being for real and I want them to know that the holy spirit walks for them and I had to wrestle with who was my charism and I came to the conviction that my charis is you is this church that God has placed me in for all these years I got a little something in my email that said dan Elliot has worked at south fellowship for 24 years as associate pastor I saying 24 years that’s a long time and it’s been a great ride and I just want to announce to all of you that you know we have a tremendous staff here at south and the time has come for me to think about retirement and when I say that I don’t mean leaving I but I mean gradually going I think I’d go nuts if I just went into retirement cold turkey but I’m gonna in a few months start working part-time and I’ll still be here but I’ll be working part-time and the elders have asked

that I take a sabbatical which I think is hey I like that idea but uh the reason that they would like me to have a sabbatical is so that other folks can come in and start doing the responsibilities that I’ve been doing and Jodi Nevins will come in and she’ll be taking over more and more of the responsibilities of local outreach which is community care and Jessica Rust is going to be coming in and she’s going to be taking over more and more of the responsibilities of care for our particular community right here and when I come back after sabbatical I’ll be part time working with them and for them I’ll still be here and I still love each and every one of you but it’ll be a little different anyway the resurrection’s for real the holy spirit’s for real and we will continue to go on as a church influencing this community for Jesus Christ let’s sing