Summary: Paul's journey to his destiny in Rome.
• Last week how Acts 15 and the decision that kept us free in Jesus - grace.
• We often speak of destiny at Water of Life. You are not an accident, but the truth is most of us don’t know how destiny unfolds.
• I want to walk you through how Paul’s destiny was fulfilled.
• The first 20 chapters of the book of Acts covered 25 years the last eight chapters covers 2.5-5 years.
• Those eight chapters cover the closing years in the life of Paul.
• Some of Chapters 21-28 covers just a handful of days.
• We are going to cover eight to nine chapters of Acts today.
• All covering Paul’s sense of destiny in Rome.
• Paul wanted to get to the place that could change the world.
• He says that three times in Romans 15:22-24, “For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you…I have had for many years a longing to come to you. Whenever I go to Spain—for I hope to see you in passing…”
Romans 15:28, “Therefore, when I have finished this, and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs, I will go on by way of you to Spain.”
Romans 15:32, “…so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company.”
Romans 1:10,15, “…by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you… so, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.”
• The will of God in your life today involves your part and His part.
• Paul understood destiny involved partnership with God.
• It was a two way street.
Philippians 3:12-13, “...I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus…one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
• Getting to Rome was critical in the strategy of God to touch nations.
• God wants to use you to touch people...
• That would be born out in the next 300 years as the church swept through the Roman culture even as they fed believers to lions.
• Acts chapter 21 we pick up Paul’s journey.
• He didn’t realize he would end up getting an all-expense paid trip as a prisoner of Rome but he did.
I. WALKING INTO A DISASTER AND DESTINY
Acts 21:8, “On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him.”
Acts 21:10-11, “…a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, ‘This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.”’
• Pretty wild thing. Kind of tough to get.
• Vss. 12-14 - Paul goes to Jerusalem in spite of the Holy Spirit warning him what was to come.
“When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, ‘What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.’ And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, ‘The will of the Lord be done!’”
• Was this clearly prophetic? Yes, but Paul knew he made his call according to his conscience.
• Was he rebellious? No, he was mature and understood what prophecy was for.
• Prophecy is not intended to prevent human choice, but to give insight into it.
I Corinthians 13:9, “We know in part and prophesy in part.” Prophecy is partial.
• Romans is clear, the Spirit had spoken to Paul’s heart. Like He will speak to your heart!
• God has set destiny (eternity) in your hearts.
• It prepared him for the trial ahead. God’s in it even when it is tough!
Acts 20:22-24, “And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me…so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord…”
• Took Paul 13 years to be released. Don’t give up. Don’t give up, stay in!