Detours Are Not Dead Ends TUC #27 (Acts 28:1-30)Bo Grace, October 29, 2017
Part of the The Unstoppable Church series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
As we drive down the road there are certain signs we would rather not see: “Construction Ahead,” “Right Lane Closed,” “Road Closed,” “Flooding Ahead.” Another sign we also dread to see is the one that says “DETOUR.”
Before the days of GPS, this could mean pulling out a road atlas. Even today, your GPS may “say”: “Continue to the Route…” which you cannot do… because there is a DETOUR. I have been through DETOURS that only involved a few minutes and miles, and some that have lasted hours and many miles. As frustrating as DETOURS can be they are nonetheless necessary to get you where you want to go.
Maybe you are going through a DETOUR today… a place you did not plan to be. You are in unfamiliar territory and wonder if you will ever get back on track. Paul had more than his share of DETOURS. He never planned to be where we find him today, but God did. As we consider the last chapter of Acts, you and I need to understand that DETOURS ARE NOT DEAD ENDS.
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1And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. 2And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. 3And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. 5And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. 6Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god. 7In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously. 8And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. 9So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed: 10Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary. 11And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. 12And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days. 13And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli: 14Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome. 15And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appiiforum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage. 16And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him. 17And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. 19But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. 20For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. 21And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee. 22But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against. 23And 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. 24And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. 25And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 26Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 28Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. 29And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. 30And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, (KJV)