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ACTION IN ACTS  PHASE 4                    “THE GOSPEL IN HIGH PLACES”                                      SESSION 2

Acts 24/1-27

INTRODUCTION:

With God having assured Paul that he would preach the Good News in Rome and the assassination  attempt having failed, we now stay alert for the next strategy designed to stop the “Roman Goal” from ever happening. Will it be obvious? From what quarter will it come?

Question: Why was it so important to block Paul from reaching Rome? Who will be the big losers if he gets there and preaches the Good News?

[1] THE POLITICAL STRATEGY (vs. 1-9)

The next strategy comes in the form of a powerful lobby group headed by no less a person than the Jewish High Priest and a hot-shot lawyer called Tertullus. If the assassination attempt on his physical body failed, then maybe an assassination attempt on his character will succeed.

Question:  Have you ever been the victim of a campaign of slander against your character and integrity? What did you feel during that season of character assassination? How did you respond?

The robes of the High Priest and the reputation of Tertullus must have made quite an impression as compared with the influence of this little-known itinerant evangelist. The only factor that prevented this display of influence from intimidating Paul was the “you must/you will” declaration of the God whom Paul served.

[2] PAUL’S REPLY  (Vs.10-21)

a. Paul knew that Governor Felix was well versed when it came to Jewish laws etc. In all probability Terullus wasn’t aware of that critical fact. Paul points out that the accusations against him can be quickly and easily exposed as false. (vs.11-13). But Paul, never one to miss an opportunity to present the Good News, “took the bull by the horns” and gave a detailed outline of his movements.

Question: Have you noticed that mention of the Resurrection seems to divide people into two groups? (17/32-33;  23/6,7;  24/21,22).  Why is it so? To get some idea of how strongly Paul believed in the priority of the Resurrection, read 1 Cor. 15/3-20

[3]  THE GOSPEL IN PLACES OF HIGH INFLUENCE.

Again, we see the provision of God for Paul. Felix ordered his detention but it included freedom of (a) house arrest, (b) permission for friends to visit and (c) the provision to meet all his needs. Notice how uneasy Felix has become in the presence of all this God talk”. He is both resistant and yet fascinated by what Paul is teaching. He wants his wife to hear this enigma of a man. Note the reference to corruption in high places in the form of bribes. Nothing has changed over the years.

[4]  HOW LONG, O LORD, HOW LONG?

This arrangement of house arrest went on for two years!! They were not just delayed for a few days (v.27) Surely there must have been times when Paul thought to himself, “I’m never going to get to Rome at this rate!

And just as surely there are times when we make the same observation. What we expected would take no time at all to accomplish just drags on….as though God is not really interested in whether we reach our “Rome” or not.  Question: Read 1 Timothy 2/1,2.  How are we to relate to pray for those in positional “high places”? Government authorities. Legislators etc.

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