Summary: Start of the 2nd missionary journey - Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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(1). A New Partner (15:40-41):

(2). A New Helper (16:1-5):

(3). A New Vision (16:6-10)

(4). A New Convert (16:11-15)



• One day when C.S. Lewis was in the tool shed in his garden.

• And he noticed a sunbeam shining across the shed.

• And it was showing up the dust particles.

• He must have seen the same thing many times before,

• But this time he was captivated by it.

• So he traced the beam of light to the crack at the top of the closed door of the shed.

• But what struck him was that although it appeared to be coming from the crack,

• It was really coming from a blazing star 90 million miles away!

• Squinting up the beam carefully so as not to burn his eyes,

• He followed the beam through the crack in the door,

• Through the leaves of a tree outside and beyond to its magnificent source.

• Lewis thought to himself how different it was looking along the beam to its source;

• Than it was looking at the beam in his tool shed.

Transition: As we join the apostle Paul in Acts chapter 16:

• The situation is like that tool shed;

• The door to the gospel is shut – people are in darkness;

• But Paul like that shaft of light is about to bring light into a dark situation.

• Paul would have enthusiastically agreed with the words of Robertson McQuilken:

• From his book ‘The Great Omission’:

• “In a world in which nine out of every ten people are lost,

• Three out of every four have never heard the way out,

• And one of every two cannot hear, the Church sleeps on.

• Could it be we think there must be some other way?

• Or perhaps we don’t really care that much”.

• Well you can be sure of this - the apostle Paul cared;

• And so should we!

Our title for this morning’s passage is: ‘When opens doors close’.

• Paul is embarking on his second missionary journey;

• And he probably started out with similar expectations to his first missionary journey.

• If you can cast your minds back to Acts chapter 14 verse 27:

• We read:

“On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.”

• The first missionary journey was marked out by open doors;

• This second missionary journey would be marked out by closed doors.

• The apostle Paul had high hopes of evangelising Asia;

• But God had other ideas.

Quote: the comedian Woody Allen who said:

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

• The quote humours reminds that our plans often do not work out the way we want.

• Now the intentions and ambition of the apostle Paul were very genuine and good;

• But God had different plans both for him and for Asia.

• The first missionary journey may well have been marked out by open doors;

• But this second missionary journey would start out with closed doors.

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