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August 9, 2020 5:00 am
Hi there this is on Solomon and I like to welcome you to our program today.
You know it's a tremendous honor that God is given us to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truth of God's word as it is uncompromising and straightforward and I'm so glad you tuned in to listen and be part of that. Thanks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio and now let's get to the word of God, failing to study the Bible today. So let's take a copy of the Bible brought one.
Let's open it together to the book of acts chapter 16, acts chapter 16 were to be continuing today.
In our study on the life of the great man. The apostle Paul knew I would think a little survey okay and others accountable raise your hand sort of survey. How many of you guys here. Took English in high school, raising well of course you did.
Now do you remember some of that incredibly awful nasty stuff they major read in high school English like Beowulf don't member that I'm 40 years later I'm still trying to figure out what Beowulf have to do with anything to deal with real life. Remember the Canterbury tales. They were terrible.
Member Shakespeare anything and everything. I could never figure out what the world was going on with that guy about the great Gatsby was that terrible or walked and all I can say about all that stuff is God forklift notes if you understand what I'm saying. I don't know how automated without well there was one thing they made me read in high school that actually are, like it was called the Iliad by Homer and you member the story Paris. This guy was a principal Troy came over to Greece and stole away this princess. Her name was Helen and he took her back to Troy.
What old Greek army mobilized to go beginner back and they went over there in a fought battle after battle after battle and they could never break into the city of Troy and so they came up with an ingenious strategy.
One day when the Trojans woke up they saw this huge wooden horse out in front of the gate. They thought the gods had left his horse forum and so they went down very excitedly rolled the horse inside the city gates course. What they didn't know is it inside the belly of this thing.
It was hollowed out and it was a great commando unit inside the belly of this thing well. When nightfall came, the Greeks left themselves out, open the city gate the whole Greek army rushed in the city fell. You know the end of the story. Now the reason I bring all that up which you might be curious to know what this has to do with anything. The reason I bring all that up is because today as we trace the journeying of the apostle Paul, where can actually find the apostle Paul standing 10 miles from where the Trojan war stood centuries before him, and at this spot God is going to speak to the apostle Paul. God is going to challenge the apostle Paul with a mission that Paul is going to accept and the whole history of the world is going to change because of this, so we want to talk about that and then we want to come back and ask the question what what differences make to you and me in our world today. So let's look together little bit of background before we did get back. 16. Remember, the apostle Paul is now on what we call his second missionary journey. He's put together a new team himself, Silas and Timothy and they started out just to go around and revisit all of the cities that Paul and Barnabas had gone to on the first missionary journey. That's all they plan to do when they started, so let's pick up chapter 16 verse six and Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia. Let's show you a map and make sure we all know what's going on here is Galatia. Here's Phrygia in the central part of Turkey, and here are all of those cities. Derby Lister I Coni him and per city and Antioch were Paul and Barnabas have been on their first journey. What verse six tells us is they completed their mission. They revisited the cities but then something very important happens. The apostle Paul decided that instead of calling it a day and heading for home that God, instead wanting to keep going that God wants him to break some new ground for Jesus Christ and so we looked at the map and he says will. Gosh, where would I go from here I'm sitting here and per city and Antioch. Where would be the most logical be most reasonable place to go next what he says I know where I should go. I should go to Ephesus. Ephesus was in the Roman province of Asia, the Roman province of Asia was the largest, most civilized and most influential province in the Eastern Roman Empire. Ephesus was the capital of this province from which the entire province could be affected for Jesus Christ and it's clear that's where Paul plan to go next. But look at the end of the verse verse six goes on to say, but the Holy Spirit prevented literally forbid them to preach the word in the province of Asia disable on why the world would God forbid Paul to go into the most strategic city in the Eastern Roman Empire and tell people about Jesus Christ so they could have eternal life will be answer is I don't know. It makes no logical sense and I'm sure that's exactly what Paul thought at that point.
This makes no logical sense but that's what God told him so.
That's what he did. He then proceeded Antioch to go southeast. These are Paul's Artie been there.
God forbidden him to go west and preach in the province of Asia. So the only place Paul can go is North and is he starts heading north.
Suddenly it hit the many goes. Now I see. Would God's up to. I got it now. God didn't want me to go into Asia because God wanted to take me north here into Bithynia. Bithynia was a very highly populated province just on the southern shores of the Black Sea. Many important cities here, including the city of Nicaea were very important church counsel would be held in a couple hundred years and Paul said Wilde is a huge Jewish population thereto. God obviously is driving me north into Bithynia. Okay it makes sense now. So we headed north, verse seven, but when they came to the border of Missy.
They tried to enter this province of Bithynia, but the spirit of Jesus wouldn't allow them to noncontrast to Asia were God, it simply said to Paul, don't preach here when Bithynia he says you can even go in there you can even step foot into that province is, there will long. I thought God was a loving God. How in the world is that a loving God to forbid all these people in Asia and forbid all these people in Bithynia to hear about Jesus Christ and get eternal life. I mean why would God keep these people from hearing will be answer is, he didn't Peter when he writes of in first Peter chapter 1 he addresses his letter to God's people scattered throughout Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia.
There were a lot of believers in the Asian Bithynia. By the time Peter wrote his letter and Paul at the end of his second missionary journey is were grimacing as allowed by God to go to Ephesus to spend two years in Ephesus and to see the entire province of Asia reached that we don't know who went to Bithynia, but somebody went and preached in Bithynia because by the time Peter writes there believers there is a matter of fact we have letters from climbing the younger who was the governor Bithynia between 111 and 113 A.D. he wrote to Emperor Trajan the Emperor. The Roman Empire complaining that there were too many Christians in Bithynia and could he kill a few and the upper writes back and says, help yourself. And so it was a huge actual there was a huge martyrdom in Bithynia in the beginning of the second century, so we know there was a huge number believers there. The point is friends. God made sure the people in Asia and the people in Bithynia heard the message of Jesus Christ. But just not to Paul. At this moment. And so what happens per se. So they passed by Missy.
The Bible says and they went down to Truax as peers. Paul he stuck here in the city of beryllium right on the border between Asian Bithynia.
He can't go southeast he's already been there and preached he's been forbidden to go southwest into Ephesus and Asia. He's been forbidden to go north into Bithynia. So Paul does only thing he can do. He goes straight west through Missy over to the city of Truax as on the Aegean Sea. This is where the Trojan horse stood 10 miles from here.
Centuries before, and while easier, he has to be thoroughly confused. I mean, you think Paul was just a little confused. I think he was verse nine and during the night. Paul had a vision you say what night what we don't know some night. Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him come over to Macedonia and help us and so Paul says all right, now I see what God's doing. He wouldn't let me go into Ephesus.
Anyone let me going to Asia. Anyone let me going to Bithynia and he got me here to Truax as having no idea what the world I was doing, because the whole time, God's plan was for me to go to Europe and if Oregon into Asia if Oregon into Bithynia would've slowed me down from the real plan.
God had for me in this team, which was to get to Europe.
Let me tell you about Macedonia, Alexander the great was from Macedonia. His father Philip of Macedon is the man after whom the province's name Macedonia and and all up to this point. Remember the message of Jesus Christ is been limited to the Middle East to the eastern outskirts of the Roman Empire, but now with them about the cross into Europe. Paul and his team is about to take the message of Jesus Christ. Right into the heart and the soul of the Roman Empire and friends. By doing this they're going to change the history of the world that you and I live in the day. This would not be the world it is if the apostle Paul is not agreed to do this will come back and talk more about that in the weeks to come with the Bible says verse 10 after Paul had seen this vision, immediately we got ready to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the good news to them and the year it was 50 A.D. probably November to December, 50 A.D., the apostle Paul is been a follower of Jesus Christ for 17 years and to this man and his team God entrusts the responsibility of taking the message of Jesus Christ into the heart and soul of the Roman Empire, not just people restart there. One other thing I'd like to point out notice in verse 10 that it says, and immediately we got ready to leave for Macedonia. If you go back and look you'll find this is the first time in the narrative of the book of acts that the word we is used up to this point. It's been day they they they they suddenly it's way and what this means is that the author of the book of acts Luke suddenly joins the team here and Truax as so that when Paul set out for Macedonia. Luke start saying we because now he's with them.
What we know about this guy. Luke what we know it was a doctor.
Colossians chapter 4 tells us that he was a physician and he was obviously practicing medicine there and Truax as when Paul showed up. That was the already a follower of Christ. When Paul got there we don't know that he walked into Starbucks one day to get a couple coffee and Paul was there and he struck up a conversation. Again, the Christ.
We don't know but what we do know is when Paul left Truax as and set off for Europe. Luke was with him over his doctor shingling on a little sign that said gone preach and and he never came back to doctoring again 90 doctrines a wonderful thing. Being a doctor is an incredible way to serve humanity. But Lucas found something that gave them more fulfillment than doctrine, which was serving the living God and folks, this is a wonderful insight into the life of Luke here that no matter what we are doing, no matter how valuable it is for the people in our world, it will never compare to the fulfillment that you and I get from serving the living God in our lives now doesn't mean we have to resign from our job and go off to the mission field. It just means in one form or another. The time and the energy we invest in serving the living God will bring a joy to our life that no form of human endeavor will ever bring mats with Luke learn. That's why stop doctrine and went to go serve God with Paul and you're here today and you never trusted Jesus in real and personal way. May I say, you may be doing some wonderful things with your life, but you're still missing the highest purpose for being alive, the highest purpose for being alive is to serve the living God to advance the kingdom of God and to get the fulfillments in the satisfaction that comes from being part of that wonderful endeavor to God wants to raise your fulfillment in life to a whole different level and he'll do it if you'll just give Jesus Christ a chance in your life. Think about what, let's stop here will come back next week to see what happens when they go to Europe but we have a really important question we need to ask and y'all know what our question is, so are you ready ready all right here we go ready 1235 is a lawn. So what is a Trojan horse. Follow the story big deal. What difference is any of this make to my life all I think there's a huge lesson in the events that we just gone over for your life in my life today and as I was starting it this week.
I got to thinking as I was watching God lead Paul and Paul have no idea where God was taking him. I thought to myself this week. You know isn't good that so many times God doesn't tell us ahead of time. Where is taking us didn't go that so many times God doesn't let us in on what is God ahead for us before it happens. I mean, if God had told me 15 years ago that he was going to send a disabled little girl severely disabled little girl in my life friends, I gotta tell you I would've frozen up with fear and doubt and uncertainty and would probably never been able to go on and deal with it.
If God told me 10 years ago that we be in the middle of a $90 million building program here at Otteson. What $90 million. What are you not I'm not a good enough leader to lead a church to something like that. If God told you 10 years ago.
A lot of the things that he was going to take you through over the last 10 years where he's gotten you through you to frozen up in fear and been so intimidated when he told you that you don't want to go back out before you even gave God a chance to see what he wanted to do in your life friends same thing happen here with the apostle Paul. I believe that if God he told the apostle Paul in his little team down and list down in Derby hey guys, guess what we're going to URL that we are all three of you guys and your little preacher Hartsell and then going to try to kill you stone you hang you they gotta run you out of town try to tar and feather you you little preach with the best philosophers in Athens are going to spar with them you not to have any place to live. You not know when your foods coming from but don't worry dollars could be perfectly all right.
I think that little team would've frozen right up in fear and there's no way in the world they were ready to take that on.
So guess what God didn't tell. He just said Paul follow me I'll show you where were going when I'm ready, just follow me, and by the time they got to Truax as God had worked in their lives and prepare them.
So when he said were going to Europe.
Now they were ready to go. Think what happened with Paul God lead Paul in the direction the Paul didn't understand he letting down the path they didn't like. He leading to a place where he had no desire to be. He letting it away that defied all of Paul's human logic, and he led Paul in this chapter without the courtesy of any explanation along the way.
Never told Paul what was going on and folks, when it was all over.
Paul was right where God had planned for them to be all along.
There was never a moment went down about God's choices being right.
There was never a moment when Paul's ultimate destination. What was in any doubt. There was never a moment when God's plan for Paul's life was in the slightest jeopardy. God had this thing completely under control.
The whole time it's just a Paul had no idea what was going no idea at all. You know the same thing happened to Moses member how Moses and the Israelites were led by the power of the pillar of fire and the pillar of fire letter. My down to the Red Sea that the Red Sea in front of many hills on one side the hills on the other side. Remember that not tactically. This was a really terrible position to be and when Pharaoh is a matter of fact, arrived with his chariots on the hill overlooking the Israelite position. Remember what he said. He said the God of Moses is a very poor general to leave him no retreat is aware that the Bible will end exactly that's what you'll Brenner sit in the movie but but but that's exactly the right and don't you think Moses down there looking at these chariots see in mountains on one side mountains on the other side Red Sea in front of them, don't you think it occurred to him and knows Israelites, God, what are you did. This is completely illogical to get completely killed. Why would you lead us down the mistake is this what you know what after the Red Sea it open that all walk doing the chariots were all going to look like such a big mistake anymore. Didn't now friends that come as a surprise to God that he was good. Open the Red Sea. No, I think it came as a big surprise to Moses and those people I will think it was a surprise to God at all. And here's the point. The point is that the apostle Paul did he understand everything that God was doing in his life before he had this vision to Truax as answer no. Moses and the Israelites that they understand exactly how God was leading them before God opened the Red Sea answer no and will you and I always understand everything God is doing as he leads us along friends. He answers no God often leads us as his children down roads we don't like and don't understand God often leads us to places where we don't want to go. God often drives us onward like he drove Paul onward in this chapter, even though were in the dark and worried it were confused but you know what we can have the same confidence of Paul. We can have the same confidence that Moses had the confidence number one that God is an absolute control at all times. The confidence number two that God never makes a mistake. God never says EVER number three the confidence that God is always working a plan for our good, for his glory. Even if we can't see it or understand it right now, which means that what God is asking from us is simply that we trust you that we follow his leading.
All I need to do is what follow.
That's all called in all Paul good was follow. That's all Moses did Moses just follow in friends that's all God's asking you and me to do.
He's not asking you understand everything is doing in your life because guess what, he's not going to give you the courtesy of always telling you what he's doing in your life you didn't get that courtesy to Paul he didn't get that courtesy to Moses is probably not going to give it much to you and me, but he does give us the assurance that he's in control. He makes no mistakes and if we follow him will never be sorry. Did God make a mistake, would Moses know did he make a mistake with the apostle Paul. No. And some of us as we sit here today, we have incredible anxiety in our life. Some of us even have anger in our life because we want to know what's going on and what God is doing in our life makes no sense and some of the ways God has led us we can figure it out. It seems illogical. It seems unfair and we reach out and we go God why won't you explain to me what you know in God walks were mad about we don't like not to be in control, say something to you today friends.
It encourages me because I have those same struggles and encourages me to know the apostle Paul. One day was right where I was right where you are in encourages me to know that Moses at some point in his life was right where we are in encourages me to know that Fanny Crosby asked the very same question and encourages me to know that in every single instance God made no mistake, not with Moses, not with Paul, not with any Crosby and can I tell you he's not making a mistake with you to not understand it will.
So what makes no sense to me will somewhat owe the themes I just, I would like to know where God is taking me welcome to bear God not going to honor that necessarily he did not honor it. Would Moses he did not honor it.
Would Fanny Crosby. He did not or would Paul watch any en route necessarily with you friends.
It's actually a blessing you probably don't know. But here's what you can know you can know and so can I the gods in absolute control you can know and so can I the God makes no mistakes. You can know and so can I the God is preparing us so that when he gets is where he is trying to take us will be ready to obey God.
At that point and you know what that's all you and I really need to know our Lord knows the way through the wilderness.
All we need to do is what follow this trusting and follow your here today and then you just torqued up with anger, frustration and anxiety my invitation to you is to just bring it to the foot of the cross and leave it there. Let God worry about the way through the wilderness. That's his job. All you and I have to worry about friends following. That's a real easy job description. You know that. And God will exchange all that anger and anxiety for the peace of God.
If you'll just be willing to follow God help us to that spring were Jesus, you know the truth about us. We are people who are consumed with wanting to be in control. We want to know what's going on where were going, how it's happening. Why this is taken place where it's all leading and yet when we walk with you as we saw today Paul's life and Moses his life in Fanny Crosby's life. You don't often tell us that information for our own good. The Lord my prayer today is that you would take me and everyone of us here who struggling with areas of our life that don't seem to make any sense right now and that you would take away the anxiety, the anger and the fear and replace them with the sweet peace of God, the sweet peace of God that comes from knowing that our Lord knows the way through the wilderness.
That's not our job sweet peace of God that comes from simply trusting and following Lord help us make the transition here today because we encountered your word and we encountered your spirit, change our very lives, and we pray these things in Jesus name amen been listening to that, I went with Dr. Lon Solomon plan is an outrage of Lon Solomon ministering to listen to today's message, or for more information visit our website. Lon Solomon ministries.org. Thank you for your support. If you would like to contact us, please visit our website or call us at 866-788-7770 we had people join us next time in line to answer one of life, my stand