Proclaiming the Gospel

KEY VERSE: “Paul dwelt two whole years … preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.” —Acts 28:30,31


PAUL FINALLY ARRIVED in Italy after many hardships during a perilous voyage by ship. They had been shipwrecked on the Isle of Melita, and marooned there for three months. Their ship was destroyed, so they boarded “a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle.” The vessel made stops at several ports before arriving at Puteoli. Here the prisoners were put ashore. There were some brethren in Christ at Puteoli, so Paul and Luke remained there for seven days, fellowshipping with them. “And so,” wrote Luke, “we went toward Rome.”—Acts 28:14

From the standpoint of the flesh, there was little to be thankful for, even now that they had reached Italy and would shortly be in Rome. After all, Paul was going to Rome as a prisoner.

Paul did not know what awaited him. Caesar’s government could take any action it chose. But the Lord revealed the way before him, one step at a time. That was all Paul needed—he was always ready to take that one step. Paul had learned that with each step of the way there were both trials and joys, and that in all these the Lord was with him.

The Lord had sent the brethren from Rome to meet the apostle. This gave him the needed courage to complete those last miles of the journey and to face whatever experiences awaited him. Upon reaching Rome, the prisoners were delivered to the captain of the guard, “but Paul was suffered [allowed] to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.”—vs. 16

The apostle was permitted to live for two years in his own hired house. (vs. 30) While this was much better than being in prison, he was not a free man. He was constantly chained to a soldier. However, he was given freedom of speech and could have his friends visit him; and Paul made full use of these privileges for the further spreading of the Gospel, to the glory of God.

Paul waited only three days after his arrival before beginning his witnessing activities. First he sent for the chief Jews, because they had expressed a desire to hear him. They had said, “Concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.”—vs. 22

They set a day when they would visit Paul at his home to hear his testimony. Many came to hear Paul, who “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.” (vs. 23) What a day of witnessing this was for the apostle! The results were as always—“some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.”—vs. 24

After Paul had finished, these leaders among the Jews disputed among themselves. Then, as a final word to them, Paul quoted one of Isaiah’s prophecies, which foretold the failure of the Israelites to accept the Gospel. He explained that because of this, the Gospel was going to be preached to the Gentiles, to give believers from among them an opportunity to be fellow-heirs of the promises.—vss. 25-29

Here Luke brings his record to a close, adding simply that Paul dwelt two years in his own hired house, “preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.” (vss. 30,31) We know from this that Paul had an active two years, but no details are available except those which we are able to glean from epistles which he wrote during this period.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |