Tag: Paul’s farewell

Paul’s farewell at Ephesus!

Scripture reading for June 30th: Acts 20:1-38

The apostle Paul was very long-winded!  It is recorded that he literally preached all night and that one of the listeners had fallen asleep and fell from a second story window and actually died.  Paul went and prayed for him and he returned to life!  (Acts 20:7-12)  The moral of this story is that if you put someone to sleep or they die during your message, you are responsible to wake them again from sleep or raise the dead!

Paul had a desire in his heart to go to Jerusalem.  He visited several of the churches in the area, but had not had opportunity to say ‘farewell’ to the leaders at Ephesus where he had preached for over three years.  He sent for these leaders from Miletus and had opportunity to speak to them one last time.  His message has been used by preachers leaving congregations for centuries!

Paul’s first point concerned his own ministry to them.  “You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.  I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.” (Acts 20:20-21)  Paul’s ministry was sound and Gospel based.  He went personally to their homes as well as preaching in public on a regular basis.  As a result of this he could say, “. . .I am innocent of the blood of all men.  For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.” (Acts 20:26b-27)

His next point was a warning about the future.  They needed to be watchful and shepherd the Church of Jesus Christ that the Holy Spirit had given them oversight of. “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.  Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.  So be on your guard!” (Acts 20:29-31a)

Finally, Paul committed this church to the grace of God.  He encouraged them to follow his own example of living a simple life of serving that could be imitated by their followers.  They must work hard and help the weak, remembering that Jesus told them it was “more blessed to give than receive”. (Acts 20:35)

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Paul’s last words at Ephesus!

Scripture reading for June 30th: Acts 20:1-38

The apostle Paul was very long-winded!  It is recorded that he literally preached all night and that one of the listeners had fallen asleep and fell from a second story window and actually died.  Paul went and prayed for him and he returned to life!  (Acts 20:7-12)  I guess the moral of this story is that if you put someone to sleep or they die during your message, you are responsible to wake them again from sleep or death!

Paul had a desire in his heart to go to Jerusalem.  He visited several of the churches in the area, but had not had opportunity to say ‘farewell’ to the leaders at Ephesus where he had preached for over three years.  He sent for these leaders from Miletus and had opportunity to speak to them one last time.  His message has been used by preachers leaving congregations for centuries!

Paul’s first point concerned his own ministry to them.  “You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publically and from house to house.  I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.” (Acts 20:20-21)  Paul’s ministry was sound and Gospel based.  He went personally to their homes as well as preaching in public on a regular basis.  As a result of this he could say, “. . .I am innocent of the blood of all men.  For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.” (Acts 20:26b-27)

His next point was a warning about the future.  They needed to be watchful and shepherd the Church of Jesus Christ that the Holy Spirit had given them oversight of.  “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.  Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.  So be on your guard!” (Acts 20:29-31a)

Finally, Paul committed this church to the grace of God.  He encouraged them to follow his own example of living a simple life of giving that could be imitated by their followers.  They must work hard and help the weak, remembering that Jesus told them it was more blessed to give than receive.  (Acts 20:35)

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Watch Out for Wolves!

Scripture reading for November 13th: Acts 19-20

“Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.  Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men.  For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.” (Acts 20:25-27)   Paul was about to leave the church he had spent nearly two years building up.  He loved those there and knew he would not see them again.  He was headed for Jerusalem and had been warned that prison and hardships would be in his future.  The one thing that comforted him was that he had presented the whole will of God to these people.  He had not held back anything that God had laid on his heart.  As far as it concerned the preacher, he was innocent of their blood!  They were accountable for what they had been told!

There was one other warning that God laid on this pastor’s heart for the leaders.  “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood.  For I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.  Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.  Be on your guard!” (Acts 20:28-31a)

It is God’s church and the Holy Spirit installs leadership!  Shepherds are to remember that the flock was bought with the Master’s own blood and is precious to Him!  The shepherds and overseers must be watchful because Satan is always after God’s sheep.  Satan’s helpers may look like sheep, but are really savage wolves.  Paul warned that these wolves would come from within the body, drawing disciples away from the true shepherds.  They would distort the truth and deceive some of the sheep if the shepherd was not watchful!

As a watchful pastor, I know that this warning is especially true for these last days that we live in.  Distorted doctrines abound which some deceptive people within the body of Christ use to draw people away from truth.  Many are after followers and financial support and use ear-tickling teaching to pad their accounts.  Discernment and watchful shepherds are sorely needed!

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