Paul in Rome

KEY VERSE: “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.” —Acts 28:28


WHILE the Apostle Paul was in protective custody there was a plot to kill him which was avoided only by the overruling providence of the Lord. Because of this, he was moved under guard to Felix, the governor. The scribes and Pharisees, and Sadducees and priests, however, petitioned Felix for a hearing that they might present their charges to him. When they had concluded their case, Paul was given an opportunity to defend himself, and in his defense he was so eloquent, Felix was impressed to the point that he kept Paul for about two years. During this time he gave the apostle a certain amount of freedom, and would have freed him entirely if payment of money had been arranged. It is interesting that in his testimony before Felix, the apostle again emphasized the resurrection of the dead, saying, “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets: and have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.”—Acts 24:14,15

But even after two years the Jews still raged in anger over Paul, and the high priest and the chief Jews petitioned Festus to turn him over to them. But Paul, being a Roman, appealed to Caesar and again avoided almost certain death at the hands of the Jews. King Agrippa also desired to hear the apostle in his own defense of the charges against him, and so Paul was brought before him. Again the apostle made an eloquent presentation of the Gospel of the kingdom. And in his discourse he referred once more to the resurrection, saying, “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?” (Acts 26:8) In his conclusion, the apostle spoke directly to King Agrippa, saying, “Believest thou the Prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”—Acts 26:27,28

After the hearing before Agrippa, it was decided that Paul should be put on a boat and sent to Rome. When they had been on the way for some time, Paul had a premonition concerning the balance of the voyage, and he warned the centurion who was his guard. But the master and the owner of the ship prevailed and they continued the voyage. Not long after there arose a tempestuous storm called Euroclydon. It is generally thought that the storm resembled a typhoon.

In the course of time, the ship finally came to land, and ran aground and was broken up. Paul and all of the crew made their way to shore and were saved. When at last they departed on a ship of Alexandria, the inhabitants of the island gave them such things as were necessary. Finally arriving at Rome, the centurion delivered Paul to the captain of the guard and he was permitted to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.

In due time the apostle called the chief Jews together and told them why he was at Rome in bondage. They knew nothing concerning the accusations against him, but were aware of the charges against the sect known as Christians. They were anxious to hear from Paul about the Gospel. “And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the Law of Moses and out of the Prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. … And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came into him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.”—Acts 28:23-31

We cannot help but stand in wonder at the faithfulness of the Apostle Paul and how completely he fulfilled the prophecy that Jesus made concerning him, “He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel; for I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”—Acts 9:15,16

Dawn Bible Students Association
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