Summary: This sermon illustrates what fear can do to us and what we can do about it.
September 15, 2002
A. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt
B. “Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.”—Michael Pritchard.
C. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”—King David
D. Today in Acts 21, we find that the apostle Paul had to face some grave fears.
I. Some disciples urged Paul not to go to Jerusalem.
Acts 21:1-6 (NIV), After we had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Cos. The next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara. 2 We found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, went on board and set sail. 3 After sighting Cyprus and passing to the south of it, we sailed on to Syria. We landed at Tyre, where our ship was to unload its cargo. 4 Finding the disciples there, we stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. 5 But when our time was up, we left and continued on our way. All the disciples and their wives and children accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray. 6 After saying good-by to each other, we went aboard the ship, and they returned home.
A. Luke says that they had to tear themselves away from the Ephesian Elders.
1. Last Sunday we studied that emotional farewell address that Paul gave them.
2. Why was it so emotional?
3. Acts 20:22-25 (NIV), "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. 25 "Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.
4. Acts 20:36-38 (NIV), When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. 37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. 38 What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.
5. Acts 21:1 (NIV), After we had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Cos.
6. It was so emotional because Paul had said that they would never see his face again.
7. Paul said that he was compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem.
8. He had no details about what was going to happen to him there, he only knew that the HS was warning him about prison and hardships.
9. So it was an emotional farewell and they wept and embraced and they had to tear themselves away from the Ephesians.
B. After the emotional farewell in Ephesus, Paul set sail and came to the city of Tyre.
1. In the city of Tyre, they found some disciples there.
2. Paul and his entourage stayed in Tyre for seven days.
3. While they were there, the NIV says they urged Paul not to go to Jerusalem.
4. Clearly, they were pretty concerned about Paul.
5. Clearly, they didn’t want anything bad to happen to Paul.
6. Clearly, they cared about Paul personally and corporately for the kingdom of God.
II. A prophet urged Paul not to go to Jerusalem.
Acts 21:10-11 (NIV), After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, "The Holy Spirit says, ’In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’"
A. After leaving Tyre, they went to Caesarea where they stayed with Philip the Evangelist.
1. We studied about Philip a couple of times before this.
a. We first met Philip in Acts 6 in the choosing of the 7 to take care of feeding the widows.
b. Philip was part of the seven in the 15,000 member first church who were known to be full of the HS and wisdom to take care of the daily distribution of food.
c. Next we meet up with Philip again in Acts 8 when he encountered the Ethiopian Eunuch.
d. Philip ran up alongside the Ethiopian’s chariot and climbed up and explained the Scriptures to him and stopped alongside the road and baptized the Ethiopian.