“Bring Him Back”
(Key Texts – Acts 28:3, 6)
Paul’s Journey to Rome
- The Jews accused Paul before Festus (Acts 25:2). Paul appealed to Caesar and Festus brought the matter to King Agrippa (Acts 25:11, 24-25).
- King Agrippa pronounced Paul innocent, but Paul was still sent to Rome because he had appealed to Caesar (Acts 26:31-32).
- Paul and other prisoners then sailed through the Mediterranean Sea toward Rome from Caesarea, which was the Seat of Roman Administration in Palestine (Acts 27:1). This journey took place between AD 60 and AD 61.
- Paul foretold of the danger of the voyage but was not believed (Acts 27:10-11).
- The ship was battered by a storm and it was eventually wrecked on Malta, an island which is south east of Sicily.
Worship of gods
- After the shipwreck, Paul was bitten by a venomous snake (Acts 28:3). The snake did not only bite Paul, but remained hanging on his hand (Acts 28:4).
- The islanders awaited the moment Paul would die, but he experienced no harm … hence they declared him a “god” (Acts 28:6).
- It was not uncommon in ancient (and perhaps modern) times for the great and beautiful to be worshipped. Universal concepts such as love, beauty and elements like the earth, sea and sun were deified.
- It was believed that the gods supervised the affairs of the world, even though they lived in distant worlds (e.g. “Greek gods” lived on Mt. Olympus).
- Some famous gods include, but are not limited to: Zeus (god of strength), Hercules (son of Zeus), Venus (goddess of love), Cupid (son of Venus), Aphrodite (goddess of sex), Ceres (goddess of agriculture), Nike (goddess of victory), Ra (god of the sun), Emperors (e.g. Alexander the Great) and Ancestors.
- Therefore, worshipping of the great and beautiful seems to be a natural response of human beings … it is like breathing in and breathing out.
Worship of God
- When it comes to being Great and Beautiful, there are no gods that come close to the Living God, Creator of Heaven and Earth!
- Jesus Christ, who is God personified, must be the centre of worship in our homes.
- No one builds a brick house without bricks. No one bakes an apple pie without apples. Then why do so many people try to build Christian Homes without Christ (Psalm 127:1)?
- A consistent spiritual life must be lived through the Will, and not through the Emotions. We must make a commitment to follow God’s Will in our lives each day, even if our emotions feel otherwise. Trust God and leave all consequences to Him!
- Love to God and to our Fellowman is the formula for balanced living (Matthew 22:36-40).
- If the marriage is in a terrible condition, it is a sign that the relationship between God and one of the partners (or both partners) is also in a terrible condition.
- You might be down in your marriage, but you are not out. Bring Jesus Christ back, and He will lift you up.
- The following five essential ingredients can help improve Family Worship:
- Personal Devotions – This is like putting petrol in your car before you drive it.
- Shared Prayer – A couple that prays for each other’s burdens will result in them being concerned about the same matters.
- Home Worship – Each Family Worship should include something for every child to do … children learn by doing.
- Regular Church Attendance – Mixed Faith Marriages experience trouble sooner after marriage than couples who worship together.
- Consistency – What we are at home is what we really are. Consistent religious behavior at home is vital.
- All in all, “Bring Him Back” to your Home right now!
Presented by: A. Ndlebe Date: 08 October 2011