Summary: why Paul was not afraid to die
Why Paul was not afraid to face and eternity?
The Apostle Paul is on his way to Jerusalem and tarries in Caesarea for a few days with Phillip. While he is there, the events of our text take place.
The deterring sign (10-11)
Agabus comes down and binds himself with Paul’s girdle. It was an action full of significance. No one present needed to be told what the gesture meant because Agabus quickly declared it. It was a warning of the problems and difficulties that awaited Paul at Jerusalem.
The detaining people (12)
There was a united voce against Paul’s resolve to go to Jerusalem. His friends and fellow travelers from the mission field pleaded with him. They were all united in their interest of Paul’s welfare.
The determined Paul (13)
Their argument that he would be imprisoned did not impress him. He had been imprisoned before. In any case he was ready to die if need be. Paul was not afraid to face eternity.
All of us are facing and eternity, but can you face it without fear as the Apostle Paul.
Why was Paul not afraid to face and eternity?
I. Because his sins were covered
The thing that makes man afraid is sin.
Sin brings guilt. Guilt brings shame, and shame causes the sinner to want to hide from God. Guilt is a fundamental problem of man, and without a remedy he is doomed to behavior that will ultimately destroy him. Guilt dogs the footsteps of all mankind.
A teacher was distressed by the dirty appearance of a boy. Day after day she talked about cleanliness, but it did no good. One day she asked , “Son, when your house gets awfully dirty, what do you do?”
“We move,” came the reply.
That is what so many do with sin. They move from one shelter to another attempting to cover it up their sin. Many try to shelter their guilt in church membership, baptism, and their own self-righteousness, but to no avail.
Have you ever noticed that the only tree that Jesus in the NT ever placed
a curse on was the fig tree? The fig leaves of church membership, religious exercises, and attention to the ordinances of the church are all futile fig leaves used to cover sin.
Some years ago a Parliament of Religion was held in Chicago, in connection with the World’s Fair. At that Parliament the great ethnic faiths of the world were represented. One by one the leading men arose and spoke for Buddhism, Confucianism, and Hinduism. Then Dr. Joseph Cook of Boston, who had been chosen to represent Christianity, arose to speak. ’Here is Lady Macbeth’s hand,’ he said, ’stained with the foul of Duncan. See her as she ambles through the halls and corridors of her palatial home, stopping to cry, "Out [cursed] spot! Out I say! Will these hands ne’er be clean?"’
Then turning to those seated on the platform, he said, ’Can any of you who are so anxious to propagate your religious systems offer any cleansing for the sin and guilt of Lady Macbeth’s crime?’ An oppressive silence was maintained by them, all and then Mr. Cook said, “Only the of Christ ...can purge the conscience from works to serve the living God." With that, he sat down.