July 28, 2021
30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!
One of the persistent questions we are asked when we get to the end of Acts is: “What happens to Paul after this?” The way it ends leaves us in doubt as to what took place next. There is much speculation, but no real certainty. Although there is some archaeological evidence that Paul went to Spain after this. But no definitive proof. Some think he went before Caesar and was then executed. Others that he was released and rearrested later, only to be executed. For whatever reasons he may have, Luke leaves us with Paul, living in Rome, in a rented home, proclaiming the gospel.
And it shows what was really important to Paul, that he be able to preach the gospel. It shows what is important to Luke, that the gospel continues to be preached. It shows the mission of the church then and now, to proclaim the message of Jesus in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. Paul preached while he was free and while he was in prison. We can hear Paul speaking here the words he wrote to the church in Philippi:
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4.12-13)
It is not about what we have or where we are, we are always in the place where we can live out our faith and bring the gospel to whomever we are with today. Not needing to be preachy, but just being God’s people who live as God’s people. Living in faith, and speaking of faith as we have opportunity.
What happened to Paul? We don’t need to know. We live now and find what will be our own future and see how we can live out our faith in the days and years ahead of us.
Song – I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being. Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever! Amen.
—Revelation 4:11; 5:12-13, NIV