Paul in Greece – Prison!
Read: Acts 16:19-36 (www.biblestudytools.com/nrs/acts/16.html)
Paul and Silas are whipped and thrown in jail for being outsiders causing trouble for locals. It is bad enough to be an outsider who just seems to be hanging around but when you add causing trouble for the local people to that then you are just asking for trouble. Trouble was not far away.
In the prison, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God while the other prisoners listened until about midnight. Remember that times of day in the Bible were estimates, they did not have phones, watches, or clocks. The only certain times each day were 6am (sunrise) and 6pm (sunset). Daylight and darkness were each divided into 12 hours with the mid-points being noon and midnight respectively (called the sixth hour). If we are correct in assuming that Paul and friends were in Philippi during the winter of 49-50 AD then the nights would have been quite long (Philippi is on about the same latitude as New York City).
At about midnight an earthquake struck, shaking the prison, opening the doors, and releasing the prisoners’ chains. The jailer was wakened and seeing the prison doors open assumed the worst and was about to give up his life for the escape of his prisoners. But Paul called out to stop him. The man went to Paul and Silas and asked, “What must I do to be saved?” Had he heard their message of salvation before they had been arrested? Or had he been listening as they prayed and sang in his prison? Did the jailer take Silas and Paul down to the river where they had met Lydia to wash their wounds and were he and his household all baptized in the same place? There is so much that the book of Acts does not tell us. But the Bible does tell us what is most important: because Silas and Paul went to prison more people believed in Jesus Christ.
Does your story include the salvation of others?
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In matters of faith, we at First United Methodist Church, Sealy put primary reliance on the Bible. In scripture, we understand that we are all God’s children; therefore, we will be a church that cares for the needs of our church and local community through prayer, deeds, inspiration, and love in the spirit of Christ.
Caring for the needs of our church and community through prayer, deeds, inspiration and love in the Spirit of Christ.
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(Tuesday & Thursday; 8am to 2pm; Ages 1-3)
Rev Pat Bell, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Sealy
200 Atchison Street
Sealy, Texas 77474