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September 7, 2020 8:00 am
Paul's second mission trip got off to a rocky start as he and Barnabas argued that finally split to go their separate ways.
But Paul set up with Silas. Instead and picked up Timothy along the way and as they traveled they also picked up a new vision of vision that led them farther west into a brand-new continent to the Bible study our radio and Internet program with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically when you set out to follow God. There's no telling where you'll end up in next 16 Paul ends up meeting with some women in Philippi. One of them becomes a believer and host the first house church in your let's listen now to Dr. Boyce.
This is the time of year when most of us begin to think about vacations. I had a most disturbing slot when I was thinking about are studied and that is that there is hardly a reference in all of the Bible to vacations accounting of any vacations in the Old Testament. The only thing that even comes close, perhaps, is the Lord himself from time to time would take his disciples off a little bit late, spend time together praying.
I guess that would correspond what we call a retreat and yet it doesn't quite a vacation actually throughout human history. Most people in most periods of history never had a vacation and generally that was for physical reasons. Nobody had the money or leisure to enjoy what you had to struggle. Day by day. Simply to stay alive rate that occurs to me I don't know why but that occurs to me when I think of where we've come now in our study of acts and find here in these verses were going to look at now that the apostle Paul was setting off on the second missionary journey. I just finished one and had a tough time on it. He had been to Jerusalem for the great console of their had suffered some unfortunate pressures.
I believe from those who were in positions of authority in Jerusalem and then he had returned to Antioch where he had a busy time as we are to believe teaching and preaching the word of the Lord and yet it's at that point, as would seem as we read this without any break at all that he gets the idea that it's time to start in on all these missionary journeys again. I think that's great because it tells us really that didn't the Christian life leads whether we take vacations for good reasons or not. There are very good reasons for them.
But when we are in the Christian life.
Ultimately, in the final sense there are no vacations form what were called upon the bit were called to serve the Lord were to bear witness to them at all times. No vacation from living a moral life or witnessing and that's what were to keep on doing until the day we die. Now the story begins sin asked 15 at verse 36, but it really flows out of the lab on into the next chapter as we come to the start of it. We find Paul speaking to Barnabas about starting off on what became the second missionary journey was a very great journey. First one was important simply because it was the first one first authorized missionary journey church actually supporting two madness. They started often on Mark with one he went along three of them altogether on this task, but in terms of the cities that were reached. We would have to say that that was really just a small beginnings on churches of Galatia and Cyprus places like that was on the second missionary journey that they got to the great cities. The great capitals of the ancient world, Philippi, Thessalonica, Athens, Corinth, and then emphasis number of most major cities.
It is interesting that as it starts Paul is the one who seems to introduce it says to Barnabas, let's go back and visit the brothers. All the towns where we preach the word of the Lord and see how they're doing a modest beginning and it's one that we can't help contrasts with the earlier call to missionary activity where we're told that the Holy Spirit spoke to the church in Antioch, and said separate on the B. Barnabas and Saul for the work I have for them.
Some people have made a contrast between that earlier call and there. Some have supposed.
I think quite wrongly that this was something that Paul dreamed up of himself wasn't a God earlier wasn't God so they went and they were blessed that the argument would go. This was Paul's idea and so they began to have troubles thing that's utterly unfounded reason why they didn't need second calling of the Holy Spirit at this point is that they didn't need one been called to be missionaries.
Once you're called to a task you don't need to be called called called and called again was the task they had made a first journey, but it didn't fulfill the mission had been back. They follow the wishes of the church in Antioch going to Jerusalem and now in fulfillment of exactly the same mission while once to start off again as a matter fact away phrases it says we went out on that first journey we visited all these areas, we found the churches let's go back and see other brothers are doing our task. Susan.just because we been there once. So I asked the question if you think of the Christian life that way.
I think we Americans especially need a challenge of this nature because we tend to think that if we agree to teach a Sunday school class for nine months or 10 months. We got a great deal and they were ready to stop and have somebody else do it or if where elected dual board of the church.
Well we serve. But as soon as we Were glad to get off the board and get back to our leisure or variety of things that were glad to do as long as it short-term and I think we need to see that when we are called to something at least as I understand it from Scripture were called to a life time commitment while he started off on this journey. I want you to see that there were number of new things involved with it. That's the outline as I understand first of all I want you to see that was a new alignment that is a new alignment of the missionaries. Secondly, I want you to see that there was a New Yorker factor were several workers but one who comes into the story midway along Lord, I want you to see that there was a new vision. Newfield open up I had a new call to it and then finally the last point result of it all is that there was a new church.
Let's go back to the beginning and look at this new alignment came about as a result of a disagreement between Paul and Barnabas all of Barnabas.
It started out of the first journey together and they had taken John Mark John Mark was a young man a relative Barnabas when they got into difficulty. So we must suppose John Mark decided that this was not for him, so he turned around and went back don't find any words of Paul. At that point, but he must've been bitterly disappointed John Mark. He must've regarded almost as a betrayal of the mission, because here and Paul says the Barnabas. Let's go back and visit the churches that we found it on our first journey. Barnabas is fine and let's take John Mark with us. Paul says Mark on your life. John Mark failed us once started out with him equipped. This is no time for quitters. This is a time for men were gonna hang in there through thick and through thin regardless of the difficulties and will make it to the end. I will not countenance John Mark's presence with this on the mission.
Barnabas said to Paul, Paul, that's not right. He was a young man he still young young men make mistakes. He failed. Let's throw, but it wasn't a terrible mistake. He just got tired or he was worried about the difficulty I think we should give him another chance. No said Paul yes said Barnabas and Jack says they got into quite a tiff about not really reflected in our English translation or English translation tends to tone things like that down but it really was quite an argument of any right was a strong argument that Paul and Barnabas separated these two great missionaries, the saints, the kind of people which in an evangelical church.
You bring up into your pulpit on missionary Sunday in your state. Everybody, this is what you should be like these two men, Paul and bottomless actually had to divide up go separate ways and so Barnabas took John Mark and went to Cyprus we don't hear more about them, but the history of the church as he stayed on Cyprus died there old man. No doubt he had a great ministry.
John Mark later was called by Paul to go on to Rome where he was at the time that seems to suggest perhaps Arnold was being older, died by that time we don't know any right that was one of the missionary teams and because Barnabas and Paul couldn't go on together. Paul turned to Silas other leader there in the church in Antioch and the two of them set out overland to do what Paul had proposed originally to do with Barnabas. I asked the question who was right.
Barnabas rights when system taking John Mark or was all right to say no in this missionary enterprise. You can have quitters. I asked the question only to say this Scripture does not give us an answer. Nothing in these verses to suggest that Paul was writer Barnabas was right. No doubt we feel a certain amount of regret that they had to split up. But even laughter is not condemned by the Scripture.
This is just something that happened in the final analysis, the end result.
It was quite good, because John Mark did prove himself in the end. Even Paul acknowledges that because in second Timothy or Paul is writing to Timothy, whom he got up on this very journey, and was carrying on a lot of the responsibility for him and some of these very cities he wrote about Mark and cities profitable to me for the ministry bring them along. So John Mark redeemed himself and as long as we're talking about an end result of the dispute. We do discover. Don't weigh that as a result of it instead of there being one missionary team were now at least two. I guess that's one way of founding churches have first Baptist Church and they can have a split and then you have a Second Baptist Church apparatus isn't the best of all possible ways to go about it but at least there is another church and God has blessed them. At any rate, that's what seem to happen here so as I say there was realignment in the were two teams and so it was Paul and Silas rather than Paul and Barnabas started out overland to visit these churches verse 41, the very last verse of chapter 15 so they went through Syria and Cilicia strengthening the churches now Syria was the area where Antioch itself was located to the north and Cilicia was the southeastern area. What we call Turkey where Tarsus was located where Paul came from where these churches come from in Syria and Cilicia that is where they visited on the first missionary journey.
They gone the other way around.
They gone west to Cyprus north of the coast of Turkey in land Antioch basidia and then back east as far as I told him turbulent strip but I didn't get as far Cilicia and now they were going the other direction overland from Syria through Cilicia but they had not yet reached the town; Liam Derby and Lester and yet here the visiting churches where they come from.
Well, it indicates perhaps that there was other missionary activity going on things that Luke himself does not tell us of the letter, or it may be since Paul was from Tarsus of the was a time when he was there. That is, after he had had to leave Damascus visited Jerusalem briefly and then it had to leave there before Barnabas went and called him back to Antioch to serve that rate church of that great capital city wraps it up. As long as seven or eight years. Maybe it was during that time, the Paul himself bound these churches doesn't tell us about it. But if the latter were the case shortly. Paul was encouraged as he started out on this journey visiting territory that was very familiar to him, in which you labeled earlier find that these churches were still going.
Some ministers like myself, but most of their life in one church. Others travel around and start churches here and there ministry. Different churches must be a great blessing to those administered in a variety of places to visit those places from time to time.
Find the worker still going. I have one experience like that when I was doing graduate work in Switzerland. My wife and I started English-speaking church in the city of Basel and over the years, I've had opportunity to go back there and the church is still going strong. That is a great joy. I was there.
We thought that was a great church. It had 35 people, but today it has perhaps 150 or 200 people has different characters, one would expect to get it still has a strong witness whenever I hear about it.
I own heart rejoices and so must Paul's heart have rejoiced when he visited the churches.
Well, that's the new alignment. The first paragraph of the 16th chapter, we find a new worker. Another is already wonderworker that was silence because Barnabas and Paul divided up here we find one that they discover in the course of their journey invite to go along. Is this man Timothy. It's a first place in the New Testament that we find a man whom Ms. Paul writes about him positive been at times a bit uncertain of his abilities and talents man who perhaps was somewhat overshadowed by Paul and his brilliant mind and forceful personality readiness to speak. I tend to think of Timothy as being chiefly a pastor, one who was well able to minister to the people that Paul first of all, reached through his preaching.
Certainly, who had wisdom in building up churches, handling disputes, counseling bones who had difficulties is what Timothy was like you might think that tall being a strong character as he was might have looked down on Timothy and said well Timothy is all right but you know Timothy isn't quite like me, matter-of-fact, all the just the opposite. Paul thought most highly of Timothy. We know for number of reasons. The way he writes to him in the letters, of course, but then of course when you're writing to people you generally say nice things. What craft is even more significant is the way the apostle Paul writes about Timothy when he's addressing other people were going to say that they got to Philippi as part of this passage and it's interesting that in the letter to the Philippians, which Paul wrote later he did comment on Timothy and his character and he said something that's really worth reading. At this point I'm reading from the second chapter of Philippians verse 19 and following where Paul says this I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon that I also may be shared what I received news about you notice I have no one else like him undertakes a genuine interest in your welfare for everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
You know that Timothy has proved himself because as a son with his father. He is served with me in the work of the gospel, I hope, therefore, to send them as soon as I see how things go with me, and I'm confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon pauses a number of interesting things about Timothy and that brief paragraph he says he's unique, but he like him some of our versions say someone who is like-minded, I can meet a number of things.
One thing it could mean is that he thought like Paul himself didn't have the same personality yet been given the same gifts he had a different assignment so far as the missionary enterprise was concerned in the building up of the churches here was one uniquely like-minded with the apostle Paul is a wonderful thing. So secondly that Timothy is concern for other people.
Wonderful to have somebody was concerned for other people all seems to me that these speaking our own time when he says you know everybody looks out for their own interests to be describing our city describing our country are tiled our time because that is what people are like it's a selfishness be first is what sin has done to the human race. And here was someone who was so under the influence of Jesus Christ so filled with the spirit that he really was concerned about others and he put their interest before his own and then he says he also binds the interests of Jesus Christ. See, it's possible to have somebody is interested in other people, but not at all within the Christian framework.
The counselor, for example, by law, Christian to be interested in other people and help them but who is not interested in the concerns that interest Christ Timothy was not like that. Yet his spiritual priorities right as values writing with other people before himself and, furthermore, says Paul in this passage he works well with other people ever known. People can work well with anybody their Lone Ranger's. They do a good job all by themselves can get along with anybody else don't know any thing about teamwork are working that way. Well, Timothy is not like that Timothy might not have been the best of all Pioneer missionaries, but he was certainly a good pastor and that is what Paul commissioned him to. Has he given the responsibility for some of these churches. So as we look at the second missionary journey we have personal all new alignments missionary team and now a new worker in Timothy. I guess it meant that Silas replace Barnabas and Timothy replaced John Mark, at least in the way the apostle Paul and his team function. Now in verse six we come to the heart of the passage, and this concerns I call the new vision. It's his vision of the man in Macedonia who challenged all of those were with them with the words come over and help us. I already mentioned William Ramsey several times a man who studied this area of the ancient world very carefully and then looked at the book of acts. In light of what he knew about the town's history and geography of Asia and Ramsey traces this very well and as he does.
It's easy to understand what was happening here as Paul made his journey across this area of the world. It started out from Antioch and had pursued a generally westward direction passing.
First of all through Cilicia and then through the towns of Derby echo Newman list right in the southern portion of Galatia and taking that Western Road he would have if he had continued along that have proceeded eventually into Asia, where emphasis was located.
Eventually, of course, he did get the emphasis but the other way around. Interesting however that I see made this westward. The approach to these great cities on the coast were told that the Holy Spirit held him back from the preaching was guidance. You see, but it was guidance on the negative sort since he couldn't go West.
He tended to make his way along the northern end or edge of Asia and eventually trying to turn further north in a bit back east into Bithynia. But when he tried to go into Bithynia spirit of Jesus as it says in verse seven forbidden from doing that as well so he was cut off from the west and south and from the north and east of the only thing he could do is start a press on between the two in a direction which inevitably brought them to the coast at trial as an all along the way here. He was not really freed up to preach the gospel. I said that's guidance of a negative sort. I want to stress that because often in our lives.
We have exactly this kind of guidance we speak of it is closed doors. We don't like closed doors.
We find closed doors very very frustrating. We say to God. God what you want me to do. We look in this direction God closes the door and so we got a little bit down about that said, I want to serve God will let me do it and so we say well God what you want me to do. We look at another direction. God closes that door also and so we getting more depressed at that point. There's 1/3 door and forth really get frustrated and I suppose it goes on long enough to get angry at God we say God why are you acting that way. I notices I'm saying this, looking out over the congregation knowing the lives of some of the people over here. Some of you are going through exactly this, and particularly at this time of year looking for a job here they are, and you're just not sure what direction God would have you take the point I want to make is that closed doors negative guidance is nevertheless true guidance and if we can learn anything from the apostle Paul.
You find what is done here is keep them from sphere of activity to which he was not called in order that in God's due time.
He might come to an area where God would provide rich blessing really out here that God closes doors. It's not because he has nothing for us to do is want to take a vacation because he wants to keep us from getting in the one area in which we are not called in order that we might proceed to the area.
She has ordained for us. Work at and where he will bring great blessing. So I got two Croats while they were there. One night Paul had this great vision see the vision was God's leading, but no less, where the negative things we find before the significant thing about this paragraph is that three times over Luke, who is writing it stresses God's guidance. First of all, in verse six the Holy Spirit said no again in verse seven, the spirit of Jesus, said now and then, finally, in verse nine became the vision to nosily ask that you see in each case, God was leading in Luke is emphasizing here. This is what God was doing, why is it that we engage in world missions churches talk about it for years and it's great experience to stress missions at a stress that very strong language.
Why is it that we engage in the missionary enterprise other number of reasons. One reason is that Jesus Christ is told us to do it. We call it the great commission and it's repeated over and over again in the New Testament once in each of the four Gospels. Toward the end. And once again at the very beginning of acts which we've already seen earlier in our studies of the book. I sometimes say God says something once. We should pay attention repeated twice, and we should have rapt attention to what he says at 345 or more times. Obviously, something we dare not overlook. And that's what we have in this commission. Somebody once talked to the Duke of Wellington about missionary effort and he said well the great commission is the marching orders of Jesus Christ, you do it because he's the commander-in-chief of the Duke of Wellington. The great general understood that and he marched and so must weigh the first race was not the only reason a second reason is the love of Jesus Christ. Paul talks about in second Corinthians chapter 5. He says the love of Christ constrains us. Versus 1415% would be important to go if it were only because Jesus has told us to do it we have to do it but I would be a sad thing if we did it reluctantly or only as it were under the compulsion of our master. Here I am to preach the gospel. I don't want to be here, but I guess I have to be because Jesus told me to do it then be stronger than I am. I suppose I don't do it. I get in trouble so here I am. Well, I would be a sad thing to see Paul, who well understood the marching orders of Jesus Christ.
Nevertheless, also understood the sweet compulsion of Christ love the love of Christ constrains us Christ's love them, yes. But Christ love for them express through me all love those to whom he was sent with the gospel and so must wait there is nothing that so commands the message of the cross is the love of Christ seen in the one who proclaims it one of the reasons why many of us are so ineffective in our witness things we really don't love those to whom we speak baldheaded and he was effective but then in the third place, let me point out that it's also the need of the world that compels us the command of Christ, the love of Christ but also the need of the race. The world is perishing.
Apart from this gospel and has many, many other needs besides social needs physical needs of the world is confused intellectually, it does nowhere to turn. It does know how to deal with the problems why politics demonstrate the failure of the world and systems to his every single day of the week. I find it significant that it is largely in those terms. That is, in terms of the last of the three motivations that this vision to come over and the Macedonians given this man of Macedonia did not say Paul, Paul, God tells you to come. He did not say to Paul, Paul, don't you love us as much as you love those who are in Asia now.
He said come and help us we need help. We need help if you thought of your missionary effort you're witnessing to enable the no start to say to me you know it's difficult to witness because of many people today don't want to try to talk to them about the gospel and their hostile to it. Let's true you say don't seem to need and that is true. Many people are self-satisfied in their wealth. There material prosperity and other things and they just don't want to give attention to anything that would upset their values or bring them to be a servant of Jesus Christ. That's the case, let me say that you may well be neglecting is the church down through the centuries has two each shame often neglected those who really are hurting those really have needs to know that they have needs gospel has spread in times of its greatest prosperity among the masses who had crying, social, intellectual, medical and other needs. Because Christians recognize the needs went to them because they love these people.
I was in that context, Holy Spirit, blast, and many thousands upon thousands came to Christ were added to the church.
Maybe one reason why the Protestant churches in this country in particular are not prospering is that they are going to those were prospering what they ought to do is go to the needy. Those in the poor areas of the country.
Those who have great social needs in the city and love those people for the sake of Jesus Christ. Well Paul heard that vision. I suppose the same night and shared it with his companions and the result was they crossed over from Asia into Europe and the gospel began at March which eventually have products to ourselves. I can't help but notice in verse 10 for the first time now.
In the book of acts we have the first person we written by the narrator is an indication that now he has joined the party. Those who have studied acts pointed this out here in the 16th chapter again in the 20th chapter and also in chapter 27 find the narration changing from the third person, heated that they did that the first person we did that and undoubtedly those who concluded here. Lucas involved her right. Luke was a Greek Greek who spent a lot of time in Philippi and then later traveled on with Paul probably needs a Greek who came over to Truax as Macedonia met Paul there there for the first time was influenced by his message and decided to travel on with it.
Paul came to love this man he called and later, the beloved physician early other people did as well. When they got to Philippi. Apparently they left. Luke there behind because later on.
The narrative changes is not. We that boy to become see that they they did this he did that and then later when they get back to this area in a pickup Luke again.
Then Luke travels with them all the way to Jerusalem on the ship, and by land and then finally when Paula shipped off to Rome.
Luke goes along as well because again we we we we seen this new alignment of the missionaries we seen the new worker seen a new vision, new call.
The bottom line of all this is the founding of a new church because they got Philippi there was no synagogue. So Paul couldn't follow the pattern usually followed it used to go into the synagogue because there were people are interested in religious things began to teach from the Old Testament. First of the Jews and Gentiles was no synagogue here in Philippi. But Paul found down by the river body of people, women, under the leadership of a woman named Lydia who were there to worship together. Paul recognize this is a proper place to start. The went began to teach them.
They responded to the message literally especially leader businesswoman very able woman apparently taken leadership in the church respondent provided Paul and the others, and were home care for them in the place to stay that home at home. Lydia became the new church church building the house church of this first Christian colony in Europe and the city that was a great quality of the Roman empire. That's the bottom line of what you say it's it's not founding churches. The sense that we often think, but we think church buildings. Nothing at all churches in the world with the been great church buildings in the congregations that fade away now. Churches use monuments in some cases, museums and other cases racks are simply been torn down is not the building but it's the people. That's what it's all about what is life about. Is it getting recognized by other people is that fame visit satisfying yourself is it being happy is not what life's about. That's what your idea of life is your doom, frustration, great failure because those things have a way of slipping through our fingers like Sam what history is about what life is about is God calling on people to himself. That's why Jesus came he came to die for the sheep and he said I'm sending my messengers and all the world to call those sheep from all the sheep pens in which there found my one great big flock and is going to be one flock and one shepherd. Those people whom I died, would been called by my messengers are going to spend eternity with me and have and before that they're going to have a little taste of eternity little taste of heaven here within the Fellowship of the church. I challenge you to be part of that commission be part of that challenge that rate plan of God in history to make your life, something not just for life because I will pass away, but for eternity. Spray a father, bless this study to us were so caught up in the world and its values, and we certainly are caught up in the rapid pace of our time.
We tend to think that what's important is what the world tells us is important only because we don't spend enough time in your Scriptures of other teachers from a passage like this orient us to what you're doing in order that we might become tools in your hands for building that which will last throughout eternity. Architects and builders, as it were that great city that has foundations and city founded upon the Lord Jesus Christ. We pray in his name name and you are listening to the Bible study hours with a Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview.
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