Summary: Well-intentioned people sometimes give bad advice. That’s what happened to Paul on His way to Jerusalem This passage teaches us to listen to advice, but follow God’s will at all costs; and explains why Paul did not fear death.
Bad Advice from Good People
October 8, 2017
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TEXT: Acts 21:1-16 – “And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched [set sail], we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara: 2 And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth. 3 Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden. 4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. 5 And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed. 6 And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again. 7 And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day. 8 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. 9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. 10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle [belt], and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus says the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owns this [belt], and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought [pleaded with] him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to [Why do you] weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done. 15 And after those days we took up our carriages [baggage], and went up to Jerusalem. 16 There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.”
Advice can be a wonderful thing…or an absolute disaster. I bet that all of us can think back to some bad advice you RECEIVED or perhaps some bad advice that you have GIVEN.
Sometimes we don’t want to hear advice, but we should hear it anyway and pay heed to it. Erma Bombeck said, “When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it’s a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.”
Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.”
So generally speaking, getting advice is a good practice. But sometimes people are very well-intentioned…in giving very bad advice.
Illus. – Here are some examples of some really bad advice: -
- Ladies, here’s some great advice. Try it, I’m sure it will work! (Slide 1: A women’s magazine cover that says, “NAG HIM…and he’ll be by your side longer.”)
- Here’s some really awesome advice from my day that might help explain the obesity epidemic of our day!” (Slide 2: A 1950s newspaper ad with a smiling mom and healthy baby that says, “For a better start in life, start COLA earlier.”)
- Guys, here’s some good advice for you. I challenge you to try it this winter. Let me know how that works out for you. (Slide 3: Photo of a tire with a screw in it that says: “Instant snow tractions: Put a 2-inch screw in each tread.”)
- For you single guys out there trying to impress your girlfriend, here’s a good one: [READ THE SLIDE] (SLIDE 4: Slide says, “If your girlfriend says, “I don’t want anything for my birthday, don’t get her any. It will show you are a good listener.”)
- And this one is the best EVER! SLIDE 5: Billboard that says, “Please neuter your pets….And weird friends and relatives.”
In our text, we see Paul’s friends trying desperately to give him advice, and Paul steadfastly rejecting it, walking straight into the jaws of trouble and persecution. He was getting lots of advice and counsel, but was it good counsel?