Summary: Start of the 2nd missionary journey - Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(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.