Summary: Paul arrives in Rome


ii. Introduction

a. Someone came up to me last week and said that they almost got seasick from last week’s message, and Paul’s experiences there on the Mediterranean Sea were certainly compelling.

b. I believe that it is the storms of life, the tribulations that we face that really draw out our true character. It’s kind of like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. You don’t really know what color is going to come our until you squeeze it

c. Last week, we saw Paul’s true colors coming out in the midst of the typhoon bearing down on the ship. Everyone else was panicking; Paul on the other hand was praising. Everyone else was worrying, and Paul was worshipping. Everyone was fasting, Paul urged them to feast.

d. You see, Paul had something wonderful. He knew the One who knew the end from the beginning. Paul had that peace that passes all understanding at work in his life. He had no fear of dying, because dying was just a fulfillment of God promise, - to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

e. As Paul stood in that ship, ministering to those around him, in the midst of that storm, his flesh was peeled back a bit, and the inner beauty of the Spirit shone through. You see, Paul got squeezed, and God came out. I don’t know about you, but that’s what I want to happen to me when my toothpaste tube gets squeezed.

f. As we finish up the Book of Acts this week, we see that this is the story that happens over and over again. People that are serving God, people that are ministering, get squeezed, over and over again, and God leaks out.

g. In the first seven chapters, we focused on Peter, and how he and John came under persecution by the Sanhedrin because he and John were filling the city with their doctrine. This man that had denied the Lord three times on the night before His death was now proclaiming His Resurrection on the streetcorners, and from house to house. Why the big change? What happened? People marveled that this uneducated Galilean fisherman could expound the truths of God. What was the secret? I’ll tell you, and he would too – The Holy Spirit. He was full to overflowing with the Holy Spirit.

h. In the next few chapters, we focused in on a man who was a deacon in the church there at Jerusalem named Philip. Philip was called by God to go to Samaria, and when he gets there, a revival broke out. In the middle of the revival, he gets called down to Gaza, to the desert, to share the gospel with one man, and he is faithful to God’s calling, and the Ethiopian eunuch gets saved.

i. At that point, we met up with a man named Saul of Tarsus, whose surname, or Roman name was Paullus. His friends called him Paul. He was a persecutor of the church, who met with the Lord face to face on the road to Damascus. This was a life-changing experience for Paul, and over the course of many months, we have traced Paul’s tribulation filled journeys throughout the Roman Empire.

j. A small church had sprung up there in Rome itself, and Paul longed to go and encourage them. Today, we will see as he gets his chance. It was no small journey, and he would arrive in chains, but Paul would see Rome.

iii. Background

a. If you recall last week, and if you weren’t here you can get the CD, Paul and his 275 sailing companions were shipwrecked on a small island. They had tried to make a one day journey from Fair Havens to Phoenix, to winter there. Paul warned them not to go. After 14 days of being tossed about by a typhoon, and finally running aground on a reef, and swimming to shore, they probably felt a little like Gilligan after his three-hour tour.

b. I’ve entitled today’s message A Journey’s End, and not, The Journey’s End, because it wasn’t an end for Paul, it was a beginning of his life there at Rome. The Book of Acts doesn’t have a formal ending, leading to the speculation that Luke was going to write a third book, further chronicling the adventures of Paul.

c. However, this is doubtful, because we aren’t told of a book like his in any ancient literature, and we don’t have it included in the Bible today. Maybe it was Luke’s intent to write a third book, but never got to it, we aren’t told.

d. But, the model that God gives us for our churches today is found in the Book of Acts. I see churches all the time claiming “We’re like a Book of Acts church”. I kind of laugh when I see that, because I think all of us should be like the church found in the Book of Acts.

e. But, the question comes, what does that look like? We are told in Acts chapter 2, verse 42 that the church continued in fellowship daily, being taught from the scriptures, and in the apostle’s doctrine, and in the breaking of bread and in prayer.

f. So, there are three things that we are to emphasize – teaching God’s Word, keeping the Lord’s ordinance of Communion, and praying. We are told elsewhere that God inhabits the praises of His people, so we have a fourth thing that we emphasize here at Calvary Chapel.

g. In this past year, as we have spent the last 58 weeks, since we started the church last January in the Book of Acts. We have made an effort to keep our focus on God, and these four things, and God has blessed us for it. We have seen our fellowship here in College Station grow not only in numbers, but also spiritually, and we have grown closer together in fellowship as well, and it is my prayer that the Lord would continue to bless us in 2004, as He did in 2003.

iv. Study

a. Intro

i. I’d like to direct your attention to Acts chapter 28, as we draw the book of Acts to its completion. Next week, we will start in Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

ii. We’ve divided our study this morning down into six parts, so that we can process the parts individually, so that we will gain a better understanding of the passage, and hopefully, God will speak to our hearts through His Word this morning. That is what we are here for, to hear from the Living God.

iii. Acts chapter 28, verse 1 -

b. The Opinionated Inhabitants (Acts 28:1 – 6)

i. 1 Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta.

ii. Some of your translations may call the island Melita. This is the modern day island of Malta. If you’ve ever seen a map of Italy, you will see that it is shaped like a … boot.

iii. The island of Sicily is off the toe of the boot there in the Mediterranean Sea, and there is a small island, about 59 square miles, some sixty miles south of Sicily. That is Malta. This was no coincidence that the ship came to run aground here. The name Malta means – a place of refuge.

iv. This is where the Alexandrian grain ship winds up, after haven been driven by the storm for fourteen days. So, Paul and his companions swim ashore here in the early morning hours of one winter day, to the place of refuge that God provided for them.

v. They were probably all huddled together, and just glad to be on dry land at this point, and I am sure that Paul took the time to thank the Lord for bringing him through this experience. In verse 2, we see that they get a warm reception, because it says -

vi. 2 (And) the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold.

vii. The natives showed us unusual kindness. If you have a King James Bible, you see that they are called barbarians. This is not a good description, looking at our definition of a barbarian today. Don’t get a picture of people running around in animal skins with clubs… The word in the Greek there is the word barbar.

viii. To a Greek, a person who could not speak Greek well was called a barbar. Paul could speak Greek, and no doubt many if not all on the ship spoke Greek, but here on Malta, the people spoke their native tongue first and Greek second.

ix. These people made a fire for this weary, wet bunch there that rainy winter morning. It was cold, and these guys had just swum in from the reef, so they were not only cold, but wet as well.

x. They were all standing around there, warming themselves in this bonfire, talking to one another, sort of drying out.

xi. 3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand.

xii. Notice what Paul is doing here. He wasn’t standing around drying off, and getting warm. No, he was gathering sticks for the fire. That’s the kind of guy that Paul was, always looking after the needs of others above the needs of himself.

xiii. As he is ministering to the needs of others, look what happens – a snake bites him. This was a very poisonous snake, native to the island there. Snakes or serpents are oftentimes associated with the Enemy, or Satan in the Bible.

xiv. I want to take a minute here to make a point that we see here in this verse. Look at what Paul is doing, and look at what happens. Many times, when we step out, and serve others, the enemy attacks us. This is a picture of that. People that sit on the sidelines don’t get near as many attacks, because that is where Satan wants us to be a Christians, ineffective vessels.

xv. So we need to be prepared, guys, that when we step out into service, as you sign up to help us set up and tear down, or sign up to help out with Children’s church, that the old serpent, Satan may just attack you. Look at the reaction of the natives in verse 4 -

xvi. 4 So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live."

xvii. The natives had a belief that bad things happen to bad people. Job had some friends like that. Remember the story back in John chapter 9 where Jesus healed the blind man, and the disciples asked, who sinned? This man or his parents? Jesus answered and said neither, that the man was blind so that the glory of God might be manifest.

xviii. Paul was bitten for the same reason, so that the glory of God might be manifested to the people of Malta. They thought that Paul must be a murderer or some other evil person because he was bitten by this viper.

xix. They said that even though Paul had escaped the sea, justice didn’t allow him to live.

There’s more to this statement than meets the eye. You see, the Greeks and the Romans had a multitude of Gods, and according to their mythology, the head one was Zeus or Jupiter.

xx. Well Zeus had a daughter, and her job was to bring bad things upon bad people. She was often depicted as blindfolded, with a scale in her hands. Her name was justice. Paul doesn’t make a big deal out of it though verse 5 says that -

xxi. 5 (But) he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.

xxii. Notice what he doesn’t do here. He doesn’t yell, he doesn’t get all worried. He doesn’t call Luke over to suck the poison out. He didn’t complain to God, he simply shook off the serpent into the fire. We face a defeated enemy. He was defeated on the cross. Even though the snake may latch on to you, he cannot possess you, you are a Christian.

xxiii. The enemy will come and attack. It may seem like things are going from bad to worse, like things probably seemed to Paul. The Bible tells us in James 4:7 - Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

xxiv. You can be sure that there is a time coming, when that Serpent of Old, Satan is going to wind up in the fire, we are told about that in the book of Revelation in chapter 20. It says that the devil will be cast into the lake of fire, where he will be tormented forever. So, he may be able to bite you now, but we look forward to a day in which he can’t any longer. The natives

xxv. 6 (However, they) were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

xxvi. It’s amazing how fickle the crowd can be. One minute you’re a murderer, and the next minute, you’re a god. One minute you’re a zero, and the next minute, you’re a hero. It works both ways, you know.

xxvii. We should not seek to gain the adoration or adulation of the world. It’s empty; it’s hollow; and, as this case shows, it’s fleeting. This is nothing new to Paul. People had thought that he was a god before, and they wound up stoning him.

xxviii. The world can’t understand spiritual things, and when we make them manifest to them through the power of God, they tend to misunderstand them, because they can’t understand these things.

xxix. Let’s move on to verse 7 -

c. An Open Heart (Acts 28:7 – 10 )

i. 7 In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously for three days.

ii. News travels fast on an island as small as Malta. The account of the shipwreck was news enough, but the added details of Paul’s snakebite experience kind of spiced things up a bit.

iii. Publius had an estate there on the island, a very wealthy man, and most scholars agree that Publius was probably the local magistrate or the proconsul of the island there.

iv. This man receives Paul and his companions and entertains them for three days. The thing that I notice here is how God keeps watching out for Paul.

v. Through the boat trip, the centurion allowed him liberty. During the storm, God reassures Paul with an angel. After the shipwreck, the natives receive them warmly. Then, Paul is bitten by a snake, but he isn’t made sick.

vi. Now, this man Publius comes along and puts them up for three days, and entertains them. This was God’s grace being poured out on Paul and his companions.

vii. 8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him.

viii. Some of the older translations are a little more graphic, and tell us that Publius’s father had a bloody flux. There are some places where the bible is pretty graphic, and this is one of those places.

ix. Luke, our writer was also a physician, and he diagnoses what was wrong with this man. The bottom line is that he had some kind of infection of the digestive tract, and those usually killed you back then.

x. Paul goes in and I want us to notice here that the first thing he does is to pray. Before Paul did anything else, he prayed. We need to learn something from this. I think too often, someone is sick, and we rush over to lay hands on them and pray for them.

xi. Maybe we need to get our heart right before God first before he can use us. Something like, “Lord, I’m going to pray for Susie there, I ask that you would use me as a vessel in Your hands to heal her.” Many times, we rush things and don’t pray like we should. I know that I have been guilty of that at times.

xii. When we came up with the vision for this church, I was convinced that we should put prayer above everything else. Our vision is to pray, praise, proclaim, and produce. Prayer, talking to God, and listening to Him should be our number one priority.

xiii. Why is that? Because prayer is a weapon that we can use against the enemy when he comes against us, so that we can shake him into the fire, with no ill effects towards us, because we know that as we step out, he can and will attack us.

xiv. God heals Publius’s father, but he doesn’t stop there, look at verse 9 -

xv. 9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed. 10 They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary.

xvi. God healed the rest of those on the island by the hand of the apostle Paul. Can you imagine being Luke? You’re a doctor, and you can’t help, but Paul lays hands on people and they are healed completely? Talk about a humbling experience.

xvii. This brings up an interesting question, though. Does God still heal people today? You bet your life He does. Paul had the gift of healing. We don’t see any place in scripture that we are told where healing stopped. Does God always heal people? No.

xviii. God distributes the gift of healing as he sees fit. It is not something for us to command at will, but a gift from God. Paul could not heal at will, remember? He prayed three times that the Lord would remove the thorn in his flesh, and God said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”

xix. The people of Malta were obviously very grateful to Paul and they took good care of them while they stayed there in Malta through the winter months.

xx. When it came time for them to leave though, the people of the island showed them their gratitude by giving them the things that were necessary for their trip, as most of their belongings went down with the ship.

xxi. Before we leave Malta though, I just want to leave us with a parting thought. Tradition says that Publius got saved during all of this, and went on to become the pastor of the church there in Malta. Paul would have certainly been preaching the gospel every time he got the chance.

xxii. We can’t be certain of it, but one thing we can be certain of this, it was God’s plan for Paul to go to Malta before reaching Rome, and that is exactly what happened. This brings us to Paul’s departure in verse 11 -

d. An Ocean Cruise (Acts 28: 11 - 16 )

i. 11 After three months we sailed in an Alexandrian ship whose figurehead was the Twin Brothers, which had wintered at the island. 12 And landing at Syracuse, we stayed three days.

ii. After a winter on the island of Malta, the soldiers, sailors, and the prisoners load onto another Alexandrian ship that was bound for Rome, and had wintered there in Malta.

iii. The ship had the figurehead of the twin brothers Castor and Pollux on the bow. Luke shows us a little bit of humor here. Castor and Pollux were the Greek Gods of navigation, and these two were the gods of oceanic navigation. He gets in a little dig here, since the first Alexandrian ship crashed and burned there off the coast of Malta. Like yeah, they’re going to protect us. NOT!

iv. They leave from Malta there, and come around the east coast of Sicily, landing in the city of Syracuse on the island, they stayed there three days before moving on..

v. 13 From there we circled round and reached Rhegium. And after one day the south wind blew; and the next day we came to Puteoli,

vi. They had finally reached Italy. They landed at Rhegium, which is right there at the toe of the boot, and the next day, a favorable wind blew, and they sailed north up the coast to Puteoli, which was about 175 miles. That was a very strong, favorable wind. While in Puteoli, they

vii. 14 (where we) found brethren, and were invited to stay with them seven days. And so we went toward Rome.

viii. They stayed there with the church seven days, as the church ministered to the soldiers and the prisoners. What a witness to those guys. They walked from there towards Rome.

ix. 15 And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.

x. Word had spread fast the Paul was there, and the church at Rome came down to Appii Forum and Three Inns to meet them, which were on the Appian highway, the main road towards Rome there in Italy. Paul saw them and took courage.

xi. You know, it’s always good to meet up with some other Christians. Paul was happy to see them, and they were happy to see him. They came to minister to Paul, the man who had ministered to so many. They had already gotten his letter to the church at Rome at this point, but had not met the author.

xii. 16 Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him.

xiii. They finally reach Rome. Paul was put under house arrest once he came to Rome. The provision for this was that Paul was to be chained to a Roman guard 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They rotated out every four to six hours.

xiv. So, Paul got a new person to share the gospel with every four to six hours - What a blessing for him! They couldn’t speak to him, because it was against Roman law. Paul probably had a blast!

xv. It was here under house arrest that Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians, and in that letter, in chapter 4, verse 22, we find that many of house of Nero were saved. They got that way by being chained to Paul!

xvi. Moving on to verse 17 -

e. An Oration of Paul (Acts 28: 17 – 22)

i. 17 And it came to pass after three days that Paul called the leaders of the Jews together.

ii. Paul coming into town with the church probably made the Jews think, “Who is this guy?” They would soon find out. Paul called them to meet with him.

iii. So when they had come together, he said to them: "Men and brethren, though I have 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, 18 who, when they had examined me, wanted to let me go, because there was no cause for putting me to death. 19 But when the Jews spoke against it, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything of which to accuse my nation.

iv. Paul explained to them that he had come to Rome because of his appeal to Caesar, which we covered in the last few chapters. He didn’t come to condemn Israel, he came to clear his name, because of this political situation that he was in. He goes on to say -

v. 20 For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain."

vi. He wanted to speak to them to tell them about the hope of Israel. What is or was the hope of Israel? It was the Messiah. The savior that they had looked for throughout their history. He had come, and his name was Jesus. Sadly, those Jews who aren’t Christians still look for the Messiah today.

vii. 21 Then they said to him, "We neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren who came reported or spoken any evil of you.

viii. So, it turns out that they hadn’t gotten any letters from Jerusalem concerning him. This is surprising to me. The Jews at Jerusalem wanted to kill Paul. They cooked up a plot for his life not once, but twice. Surely they would have written a scathing report about this man being sent to Rome, so that the Jews there could deal with him.

ix. But, nothing came. The letter didn’t come. Could it be that their letter was on the same ship that went down off the coast of Malta? That would be God’s sense of humor and provision at work, I think. The Jews in Rome were curious to hear about Paul’s views, as we see in 22 -

x. 22 But we desire to hear from you what you think; for concerning this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere."

xi. Asking Paul to hear about his views was all that Paul needed. He set up a meeting, because they wanted to know more about this sect, and boy were they going to get it. Verse 23 -

f. An Occasion to Teach (Acts 28: 23 – 29 )

i. 23 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.

ii. We are told here by Luke how Paul shared the gospel with the Jews there at Rome. People ask sometimes, “How do people that lived before the time of Christ get saved?” The answer is simple, the same way that they do today. They believed in the Messiah that was to come by grace through faith, and we believe in the Messiah that has already come by grace through faith; exactly the same way.

iii. In presenting the gospel to these Jews, Paul used the Word of God. Since the New Testament was still being written, all that he had available to him was the Old Testament, the Law and the Prophets.

iv. Well, you say that the Old Testament doesn’t talk about Jesus. Hang on there, I wouldn’t be so sure. In fact, I would say that the Old Testament has a great deal to say about Jesus, it just takes a little more looking and a little closer study.

v. The story of Jesus is woven throughout the Old Testament, in type, in shadow. Take for example the story of Isaac in Genesis chapter 22. Isaac is a type, or picture of Christ.

vi. Isaac had a miraculous birth. He was born to Sarai when she was well beyond her childbearing years. Jesus was born of a virgin, which was foretold by the prophets; that’s certainly miraculous.

vii. Abraham took Isaac up on the mountaintop because God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only son to Him. We read in the scriptures that Abraham ascended Mount Moriah there in the land of Caanan with his son and his servants.

viii. Abraham leaves the servants and continues on with Isaac, and Isaac asks, “Where is the sacrifice, Dad? We have wood, fire, stuff to make the altar, and a knife, but no sacrifice. Prophetically, Abraham answers, and says, “The LORD shall provide the sacrifice”.

ix. When they had come to the place where Abraham was going to sacrifice his son, the angel of the Lord stops him and says "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."

x. They sacrificed the ram caught in the thicket to the Lord on Mount Moriah that day. Fast forward two thousand years, and it was on that same mountaintop that God provided the sacrifice again, and sacrificed His only Son for your sins and mine at a place called Calvary.

xi. You don’t hear about Isaac again from that point until Eleazar, Abraham’s servant goes to get him his bride, Rebekah, and brings her back, and they celebrate a great wedding feast.

xii. Beloved, that’s a picture of Jesus’ soon coming return, when we as the church, the bride of Christ will dine with Him at the wedding feast of the Lamb, after he comes to snatch us away out of the earth.

xiii. Some may say that it is hard to find Jesus in the Old Testament, but I say it’s hard not to find Him in every chapter, of every book. Look for Him on every page, and He will be found.

xiv. 24 And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved.

xv. That’s always the case isn’t it? That’s always the case with the preaching of the gospel. Some believe and receive the gift of eternal life, but others refuse the gift, and will not believe. The effectiveness of the gospel is not up to us, but rather, up to the Holy Spirit, as he quickens men’s spirits. You might ask yourself, which one of those groups do I fall into? Do I believe, or not? We’ll get back to that later…

xvi. 25 So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, 26 saying, ’Go to this people and say: "Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; And seeing you will see, and not perceive; 27 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them." ’

xvii. Paul pulls out all of the stops here. He shows them through the scriptures that Isaiah prophesied about them, that they would not accept their Messiah when He came, but that they would be blinded and deaf concerning Him.

xviii. If they did see, or if they did hear, they would understand, notice this here – not with their minds, but they would understand with their hearts, and turn from their ways, and be healed by God.

xix. 28 "Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!" 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves.

xx. They had a great dispute because some believed, and some did not. They had heard from the mouth of Paul that the gentiles were hearing the salvation of God.

xxi. They didn’t like this at all, because they thought that the salvation of God was only for them, and the Jewish theologians of the day taught that the gentiles were on the earth to kindle the fires of hell.

xxii. Thanks be to God that this wasn’t God’s heart on the matter, or you and I would not be sitting here today. The gospel spread into the world of the gentiles by the hand of God using men like Paul. We’ll finish up this morning in verses 30 and 31 -

g. The Open Door (Acts 28: 30 – 31 )

i. 30 Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

ii. Paul dwelt there in Rome in a rented house, preaching and teaching about the kingdom of God, and no doubt that he taught about the King of the kingdom, and the King of men’s hearts, Jesus Christ.

iii. It was God’s provision at work in the life of Paul again as he has a time of rest and reflection there in Rome. It was here that Paul would write four books of the New Testament – the letter to the Ephesians, the letter to the Philippians, the letter to the Colossians, and the little letter to Philemon.

iv. The Book of the Acts draws to a close about the year 63 A.D., with Paul having been under house arrest for two years. Around 66 A.D., he would write his second letter to Timothy.

v. By then, he wasn’t under house arrest anymore, but was in the Mammertine Prison there in Rome, not awaiting a trial, but awaiting his execution. The thought is that after his first appearance in front of Nero, Paul was freed, because he tells Timothy that he left Trophimus sick in Miletus.

vi. One day those guards that Paul had witnessed to so faithfully came to get him one last time. We are told by church historians that Paul was given the less cruel, less painful execution of a Roman citizen, as his head was severed from his body by a Roman sword.

vii. That next moment, Paul was truly set free, as he stood face to face with the same Lord that he met on the road on the road to Damascus.

viii. In closing, I’d like to point out that is not a mistake that the last words of the Book of The Acts is an open invitation to any and all who would receive the gospel of Christ.

ix. If Paul were here with us this morning, I would imagine that he would speak a lot longer than I did, and make a very persuasive gospel appeal. This was a man who lived with one regret – that he didn’t know the Lord earlier in his life.

x. So, what about us, here in College Station this morning? The same question still remains – Will you believe, or not? If you don’t respond to the Lord’s call this morning, you very well could end up with much regret at the end of your life. The time to avoid that regret is now. We’re going to pray and give you the opportunity to make that choice.

xi. If you call yourself a believer this morning, would you live your life with no regrets, sharing the gospel to all who would hear, or will you keep the light that Jesus has given you under a basket? Are you living a life worthy of the calling by which you have been called? We’re going to give you a chance to settle up your account with the Lord this morning as well.

xii. Lord God, help us here at Calvary to receive any and all who would come to hear Your Word, and let us be faithful to the calling you have given each one of us.

h. Let’s Pray.