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"God Never Wastes An Experience"

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
November 1, 2020 5:00 am

"God Never Wastes An Experience"

So What? / Lon Solomon

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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 while glancing here and brought Bible today we want to open it to ask chapter 16 verse 35 and when it was daylight the magistrates there in Philippi sent their officers to the jailer with the order release these men well verse 36.

The jailer told Paul, the magistrates of order that you and Silas be released so you're free to leave now going piece but Paul said to these officers that it can't be said. I listen the magistrates had us beaten publicly without a trial. Even though we are Roman citizens and then they thought was in the present and now they want us to leave secretly know way. Paul says you tell them to come down here. Personally and escort us out of prison. Well, the officers reported back to the magistrates what Paul said when the magistrates heard the Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. They were afraid I would stop there for a minute and asked the question why did finding out the Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. Why did that scare these magistrates the way you do well in order to understand the answer that we got understand a little bit about Roman citizenship in the time of the apostle Paul.

At the time of the apostle Paul, the Roman Empire had millions of subjects.

But just because you were a subject of the Roman Empire did not mean you were a citizen of Rome as a matter of fact, Roman citizenship was a privilege that was a jealously guarded commodity and if you weren't born in Italy. There were very few people born outside of Italy that ever became Roman citizens.

Now, in the providence of God.

The apostle Paul was one of them, anything will. I don't understand what is the big deal about being a Roman citizen with a big deal is that you had enormous rights and enormous privileges that the other people in the Empire didn't have you say oh yeah like what will like number one, a Roman citizen was entitled to a formal trial before any kind of punishment could be inflicted upon it. Now my question were Paul and Silas given a public trial, no they did need to have their Miranda rights read to them before they threw him in jail. Number two second privilege is it even if a Roman citizen was convicted of a crime. That person could not be punished in a way that publicly humiliated and yet, what do they do Paul will verse 22 says, the magistrates ordered Paul and Silas to be stripped and beaten in the marketplace in front of that whole crown. They were publicly humiliated number three.

And finally, a right of a Roman citizen is that unless regardless of his crime, a Roman citizen was never allowed to be beaten with those brutal rods that we talked about those Lichter rods the ones that have a clause that rip the flesh off the boat to get what they need.

Paul and Silas will want to beat them with those rocks. Folks there were very severe penalties for anyone, even a Roman official who violated the rights of a Roman citizen and these magistrates knew they were in big trouble. Ask chapter 22. Let me show you what happens here.

Paul was in Jerusalem a few years later and it says in verse 23 as day.

The Jewish people in the street were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust in the air, the commander ordered Paul to be taken into the barracks he the commander directed Roman officer that Paul be flogged, beaten and question in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. Well, as they stretch Paul out to flog you. Paul said to the Roman centurion. The officer standing there. Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn't even been found guilty.

Well, when the centurion heard this, he went to the commander. He said what are you doing do you know this man is a Roman citizen.

The commander hurried to Paul and said, tell me, are you a Roman citizen. Paul said yes I am the commander said well I had to pay a big price to get my citizenship. Paul said well I was born a Roman citizen and then those who were about to question it would do immediately in the commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul a Roman citizen into chains that friends these magistrates in Philippi had done a lot more than put Paul into chains that scripting publicly they had beaten publicly.

They had humiliated him publicly and imprisoned him without any kind of trial at all. Verse 39 so the magistrates came to appease Paul and Silas literally to apologize to Paul and Silas and they escorted them from the prison, imploring them baking them. Please leave the city. Now I know the right of a Roman citizen number four that a Roman citizen could not be forcibly expelled from any city in the Roman Empire unless he was convicted of a crime and so rather than ordering Paul and Silas to leave here. These guys are reduced to going Paul. Pretty please would you please get out of jail got have a sense of humor or what they all don't get it because it's Bible humor, but this is funny this is funny what happened here as well.

Verse 40 Paul and Silas.

After they left the prison. Went to Lidia's house remember Lydia the first lady here in Philippi, to give her life to Christ in Europe and all.

After meeting with the brothers there and encouraging them then they left town that Paul and Silas are going to head on to Thessalonica were to pick the story up next week, but just before we ask the most important question. Let's look at this issue and that is why didn't Paul tell these magistrates. He was a Roman citizen before they meaning what any tell them before they threw him in jail will be answer is, he probably try the answer is out there and that uproar in the riot that was going on in the street when a beating. Paul was probably trying to tell these guys. He was a Roman citizen that were less than they were interested and there was too much noise but you know it's interesting how God in his very special providence still use this for the benefit of the church in Philippi.

Think about it now.

If you're a magistrate in Philippi and you know that the apostle Paul can come back to town, file formal charges against you anytime you want and get you thrown in jail for abusing his rights as a citizen if you're a magistrate, are you going to let anybody mess with his friends in town are you and let anybody mess with the church he started in town. I don't think so. I think God use this to put a hedge of protection around that church were the magistrate said hey don't anybody mess with those people. We have our reasons, we don't need to tell you but you keep your hands off of the church. Now, that's the end of our passage, but it leads us to the most important question and we all know what that is. So here we go ready 123 right to want so what Sam really happy to hear this.

I think this is need what differences make to me. Well I want to try to make that connect for you. You know I want us to go back to the comments that the apostle Paul made to that Roman officer member asked 22. The Roman officer said hey I had to pay a big price in order to buy my Roman citizenship and remember what the apostle Paul said the apostle Paul said yeah but I was born a Roman citizen.

Now I got to thinking about that this week.

How did this nice little Jewish boy named Paul raised in a city that really wasn't all that important city in the Roman Empire Tarsus.

How in the world did this guy get born with something as precious a commodity as Roman citizenship which we know we've already learned was not given out very often how in the world and he end up being born a Roman citizen what the question intrigued me this week and so I decided to go find the answer and in finding the answer also discovered an incredibly encouraging spiritual truth that I want to share with. First of all, how did Paul become born a Roman citizen what you guys and you guys here. Remember Brutus member Bruce say I member him. He was a guy used to beat up Popeye all the time know that Luke Joe know that Luke Joe, this is bring to us route to us was a Roman aristocrat who knifed and killed Julius Caesar in 44 BC and Brutus.

As a matter of fact in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, Brutus was the person to whom Julius Caesar spoke.

His last words remember what they were at to brew today.

I am impressed. My Latin teacher, Ms. Vincent, you would've made her day if she were here today. I am impressed that means you to Brutus after Brutus stabbed him, but Brutus figure significantly and how the apostle Paul ended up as a Roman citizen, you say really to the apostle Paul and Brutus know each other know the apostle Paul wasn't going be born for another 50 years and 44 BC, but let me tell you how the connection work right after the death of Julius Caesar, Brutus and another Roman aristocrat name caches entered into a civil war for control of Rome. The Roman Empire, with Caesar's son, a fellow named Augustus Caesar, and while they were gathering their army to do battle in 43 BC. The next year Brutus and caches came to the town of Tarsus took over the town, commandeered the town and made it into their military headquarters not show you where Tarsus is.

So you get an idea. Here's Jerusalem down here, here is the underbelly of Turkey the Mediterranean.


And here is Tarsus.

As you can see Tarsus is not a very significant city militarily is not on the middle of some crossroads is not a port city admin assistant in the middle of nowhere, but they came here. Brutus and Cassius did and made it their military headquarters where the battle was fought. The next year 42 BC actually was thought you'll never guess where in Philippi I told W that months ago but I dun surprise me you don't remember but anyway it was fought in Philippi and Augustus Caesar want to kill Brutus. He killed caches but the important point for our discussion is that the town of Tarsus had remained loyal to Augustus Caesar. Even though it had been commandeered and taken over by the forces of Brutus and caches to Augustus Caesar in appreciation for the loyalty the town and showed him declared after his victory that every citizen of Tarsus automatically was being rewarded with Roman citizenship.

Now the apostle Paul was alive, but his parents were and they were living in the city of Tarsus as citizens of Tarsus and so by edict of Augustus Caesar. They all of a sudden became Roman citizens is they belong. Women, this was a Gentile city right right and they were Jewish people right right what was it normal for Gentile city to make Jewish people, citizens know, as a matter fact that hardly ever happens is they will then how in the world of Paul's parents become citizens of Tarsus so they could become Roman citizens. Very good question. So I went back and try to figure that out let me say what I found hundred and 40 years earlier.

There was the kingdom that ruled both Tarsus and Jerusalem was the kingdom of Syria ruled by a fellow in 171 BC named Antiochus. Antiochus decided that he wanted to make Tarsus his garrison city. One of his military cities. But to do that he had to swell the population for what he did his he went all through his kingdom and began taking people ripping them out from wherever they live and forcibly moving them to Tarsus to swell the population of the city now for reasons unknown, he decided. King Antiochus stated that he wanted some Jewish people in the city so since he control Jerusalem he went to Jerusalem and he had a soldiers walk around and just say you you you you you you and you get to stop removing you to Tarsus several hundred miles away and the apostle Paul's great-great-grandparents were part of that movement.

They got moved to Tarsus against their will.

They want to go. They got forcibly moved but you know what King Antiochus did as a way of softening the blow for all of these people that he was moving. He granted every single one of them will citizenship including the Jewish people in Tarsus so you get what happened now all of a sudden 171 BC.

The apostle Paul great-great-grandparents get ripped out of Jerusalem taken a Tarsus patina. Antiochus says hey is aware softening the blow. I'll make you citizen of Tarsus, then in 40 or about actually about 35 BC, Caesar, Augustine says will that all you citizens of Tarsus including Paul's parents to make you citizens of Rome and then the apostle Paul was born. And guess what he was born a Roman citizen, not as a body sleep, but you guys follow all of that hard now. So, William Ramsey, professor at Oxford University and writer of the book the cities of St. Paul said this and I quote is indeed probable that there were already some Jews in Tarsus before King Antiochus but Antiochus greatly increase their numbers by bringing in many more Jewish families and bestowing upon them all the rights of Tarsus even citizenship us from 171 BC onwards there was in Tarsus, a significant body of Jewish citizens, we must regard St. Paul as having sprung from one of these families which got Tarsus even citizenship in 171 BC they say will on where is this great encouraging spiritual lesson here because for the life of us. We don't see you. I don't know what you thought all this, but where do you get some great marital lesson out of this will lessen folks. How do you think the apostle Paul's great-great-grandparents felt when all of a sudden King Antiochus said guess what folks all removing how do you think they felt when they were ripped away from their friends, their family, their homes, their job, their beloved city of Jerusalem and carted off hundreds of miles to the Gentile city of Tarsus where they knew nobody or nothing.

How do you think they felt. Do you think they were devastated. I do do you think that they wonder why the world God would let this happen to them. I do you think they ever turn to God that God why would you do this to us. I do, but friends here's what I want to see it uprooting these people and moving them to Tarsus. Can we see that God knew exactly what he was doing all the time they friends. God looked down the corridors of time hundred and 75 years and said you know what you don't know it yet, but hundred and 75 years from now you could have a great-great-grandson's names will be Paul and many use him as my missionary to reach the entire Roman Empire.

As a matter of fact I'm going to use him as my instrument to change all of Western civilization now. To do this he needs to be a Roman citizen and it getting to be a Roman citizen I got to get his parents to be Parthian citizens and to get them to be Dorothy and citizens I got to move you and Terry go now. Do you think God explained all that to them.

No, you think they had any clue what was going on. No, the God nobody was doing the whole time.

Yeah God knew what he was doing. They died and didn't have any clue what God was up to the God knew what he was doing, did he waste this experience of moving them not on your life functional.

Every Tuesday I take appointments in my office and the without a doubt the most commonly asked question over the last 22 years in my office is this question. I don't know what you think it would be.

But here's the question why in the world would God do this to me, why is God letting this happen to me and my answer is I don't know if it will on remind me to come to you for counseling. Well I don't know and I tell them, friend, how my supposed to know what God's doing you I got stuck in my life. I don't even understand what God is doing to me is frozen over God's doing to you. But let me tell you what I do say to these people.

What I do say to them is let me tell you where I am on the things in my life.

I don't understand.

I believe there is a living God who has a plan for my life and that even the most puzzling things that happen, even the most painful things that happen are all part of God working out his plan for my life and it doesn't matter whether I understand or not.

Jeremiah 2911. I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Use it but I don't know well so lots. What difference does that make you don't need to know as long as the Almighty God of the universe knows him as the most important point. I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good, not for evil to give you a future and a hope. And I tell these people in my office number tell you today friends. God makes no mistakes that matter with you, and I understand God doesn't waste experiences. He didn't waste this experience in the apostle Paul's great-great-grandparents and he's not going to waste and experience in your life. God knows what he's doing and we need to trust. If you're here today and you never trusted Jesus is real and personal Savior, may I say to you that one of the wonderful things that calm we trust Christ is not just a place in heaven. And not just eternal life and you do get those things but another wonderful thing that comes is that we get Almighty God of the universe suddenly as the one is running and planning our lives we get the assurance that were not the victims of random circumstances or random tragedies, but that there is a sovereign God running the program of our lives and we can relax as long as he knows the plan he has for us and he's working it out where fun friends. There is a peace that comes into our lives.

There is a joy and a tranquility that comes in the life when you know God is running your life that you can get any other way to cure here and you don't know Christ. We want you to have that piece it all comes as part of the package deal. When you trust Christ I will bill due to we know the year was 1873 Chicago would burn to the ground. It was a man living in Chicago decided that this would be a good moment for he and his family to go on available vacation, and so he decided to go to England so he and his wife and their children went to New York in the book passage on a steamer going England but at the last minute some business affairs came up and he said to his wife.

You know I'm going to be detained for couple of days. What I want you to do is I want you to go ahead with the girls.

He had four daughters and want to get on the boat go to England and I'll meet you in a couple of days. I'll only be a couple days body. She said okay so she got on the ship and as they sailed across the North Atlantic. One night they were rammed by another vessel and their ship sank in less than an hour. His wife survived, but all four of his daughters drowned in the North Atlantic. His wife was taken England and she cabled back to into words. Save the alone. The man's name was Horatio G. Spafford, Mr. Spafford immediately got on board a ship and headed off to meet his wife in England.

He told the captain he said not captain when we get to the spot longitude and latitude where that accident happened.

You call me Autocare with its daytime nighttime I want to know when we get there. It was 2 AM and the knock came on his door. The steward said to him, Mr. Spafford, the captain want you to know when 10 minutes will be at your spot. He went up on deck and as the ship sailed over the watery graves of his daughters. He reached inside of his pocket and he found he had no envelope in their pencil, and so in the dim light on the ballot.

That ship at 2 AM. He began writing down some words as they came to him. He was up there praying and talking to God. He started writing words and here's what he began to write when peace like a river attendance my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll whatever Myla's Lord you have taught me to say it is well is well with my soul friends listen. The message of it is well with my soul and the message of Paul's Roman citizenship because I'm sure his great-grandparents many times that why are you doing this the message of both is the saying that God never waste and experience God knows what he's doing. So we need to trust him and you may be here today with things going on in your life that you don't understand water happening things going on in your life or you say God why why why and you know what friends God's answer is always the same. I know the plans I have for you since Lord, plans for good and not for evil to give you a future and a hope not.

Can you just trust me and my goal today is to try to convince all of us to rise above the level of our emotions to rise above the level of our feelings to rise to a different level low level of faith where we like Horatio G. Spafford can say what ever Myla's Lord you have taught me to say you've taught me to walk by faith and say it is well is well with muscle. May God help us to Lord Jesus, thanks for reminding us today that we are not in this thing called life by ourselves that you're here with us walking hand-in-hand with us and that you are the sovereign God of the universe, who has a plan for our lives. That's bigger and grander than we could ever imagine Lord so many times things happen. We don't understand the puzzles they heard us. But my prayer is that you would use the example of Paul citizenship and his great-great-grandparents. The example of Horatio G.

Spafford to remind us today that that it will just trust you juvenile work all these things out for your perfect plan for our welfare. The welfare people around us in the advancement of the kingdom of God. So we just need to trust you know more. There a lot of people here today were hurting a lot of people here today were followers of Christ and yet their stuff happening in our lives. It seemed to make no sense at all.

My prayer that you would lift us today above those questions that you would lift us today above those feelings and above the pain and bring us to the Lord, the level what we can say by faith. Whatever Myla's Lord you've taught me to say it is well with my soul, give us that peace that passes all understanding. Lord the comes when we walk by faith and we pray these things in Jesus name, amen and listening to that went with Dr. Lon Solomon plan is an outrage of lines found in ministry to listen to today's message, or for more information, visit online Lon Solomon Thank you for your support.

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