7/26/14

From Jim McGuiggan... The Man of Sin (1)


The Man of Sin (1)

Martha asked about the Man of Sin. The text is 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. Some Thessalonians were distressed because they had been urged to believe that the day of the Lord had already come (2:2). Half believing it, I suppose they would wonder what had become of their loved ones that had died, the ones Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Christ would bring with him? There was no sign of them.

Paul assures them that the day of the Lord hadn’t come and he reminds them of what he used to teach them while he was with them. And what was that? He taught them that an apostasy would come and that it would be connected with "the man of lawlessness" who would be destroyed by the Lord at his coming (2:3,8). For that to be true the apostasy would have to come first, come to focus in "the man of sin" and then he would be destroyed at the coming of the Lord.

It’s clear from this that Paul is banking on their realizing that the apostasy hadn’t yet developed and that the "man of lawlessness" had not yet appeared in order to be destroyed by the Lord’s coming.

[All kinds of interesting things develop here and one of them is this: The Thessalonians must not have connected the coming of the Lord with the literal destruction of the earth and heaven. If Paul had taught that when the Lord comes the earth was literally to be burned up, why would he bother to talk of an apostasy and the rest? Why didn’t he just say something like, "How can you believe the Lord has already come when the earth has not been burned up?]

The "man of sin" will be revealed in connection with apostasy, he is presently restrained, but he will be fully revealed when the "restrainer" is removed and the Lord will destroy him at his coming. Those appear to be explicitly affirmed by the text.

I think there are two things we need to keep in mind while wrestling with this section. One is that the rise of the "man of sin" is imminent when Paul writes. I say that because he says, "the secret power of lawlessness is already at work" (2:7) and were it not for some "restrainer" the Man of sin would be out in the open. There’s no suggestion that Paul wrote that on Thursday and that by Sunday of the following week the "man of lawlessness" should be standing in a temple somewhere but some degree of imminence is surely conveyed. Since Paul had already told the Thessalonians who or what "the restrainer" was it’s difficult to see the restrainer as some still future person or structure. Especially since the restrainer was already at work nearly two thousand years ago. I think the commentators sense this imminence element since they identify the restrainer as perhaps Paul, the gospel proclamation to the nations (compare Matthew 24:14), the ordered society created by Rome, the Roman empire and such like.
Assuming the imminence of the lawless one’s appearance generates some tensions for us. One commentator sees the imminence, takes it that this is some specific individual who was to be destroyed at the Lord’s coming and concludes that Paul taught that the Lord was soon to return. He says that the only reason we don’t accept that is because we don’t want Paul to be mistaken about the coming of the Lord. I think the commentator is correct to speak of the lawless one’s imminence, I think he is mistaken in saying that he was some individual and I think he is mistaken to think that what Paul said implied that the Lord was returning very shortly.

The second one is this, Paul doesn’t say that the appearance of the "man of lawlessness" coincides with the time of the Lord’s coming. He says you can be sure that the Lord’s coming is yet future because the apostasy hasn’t taken place and the "Man of sin" has not yet been fully revealed. The most common way of reading this section is something like this. "The Lord hasn’t come yet and the proof of it is that there has been no major apostasy and the Man of Sin has not appeared. You see the Man of Sin is to appear just prior to the return of Christ."

I can see that that makes sensible reading but maybe it isn’t what Paul said. The crucial link is missing. Paul says nothing here that would lead us to think, "The Man of Sin is to appear just prior to the return of Christ."

The Lord hasn’t come yet
The apostasy hasn’t yet occurred
The Man of lawlessness has not yet been (fully) revealed
These two events must occur before Christ returns
Christ will destroy him when he returns.

That looks like a summary of the basic proposals in the text and there’s no mention or indication that the Lawless one’s full manifestation occurs just prior to the coming of the Lord.

What is it that makes us think that the text does suggest this about the Man of Sin’s appearance? I think the primary motivation is that we take the Man of lawlessness as a particular individual. It certainly reads like it’s a particular individual. If it’s a particular person we don’t want him appearing sometime, say in the first century, and living long enough to be around when Christ comes, say in the 21st century. This would mean we have an individual somewhere in our midst who’s about 2,000 years old.

So we don’t want the Man of sin to come on the scene in the first century because we would have to choose between having this very old man or that Paul was wrong about the coming of the Lord. The question of imminence appears to me to be of critical importance. It seems we should choose between:

There is no imminence in the text—neither the coming of Christ nor the rise of the Man of sin is imminent.

There is imminence in the text—the revelation of the Man of sin.

There is imminence in the text—both the revelation of the Man of sin and the coming of the Lord.


What will Happen when Jesus Comes Again? by Kyle Butt, M.A.

 http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1261

What will Happen when Jesus Comes Again?

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

On numerous occasions throughout the last two thousand years, small groups of “faithful followers” have huddled on mountaintops or in secret rooms, waiting for the Second Coming of Christ as predicted to occur on a certain day, and at a certain time, by some religious leader. Yet, although the predictions of Christ’s return have been copious, each group of expectant “believers” has been disappointed to find that they had been misled. When will Christ return, and what will occur on this Earth when He does come back the second (and last) time?
The first question regarding the time of Christ’s Second Coming is rather easy to answer, thanks to material found within the Bible. In Matthew 24:36, after describing the signs that would lead to the destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus shifted the topic to His Second Coming. In contrast to the many signs that the early Christians were told to expect prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus made it clear that there would be no signs whereby one could predict His Second Coming. He stated: “But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only…. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him” (Matthew 24:36,44). In another portion of Scripture, the apostle Paul told the Thessalonian brethren that the day of the Lord would come “as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2). When will Jesus return? The simple answer to that question is—nobody on this Earth has any idea.
The next question dealing with the events that will occur at the Second Coming requires a much more extensive answer. When Christ ascended to heaven, forty days after His resurrection, He “was taken up, and a cloud received Him” out of the sight of His apostles (Acts 1:9). Immediately following His ascension, two men clothed in white apparel stood by the awe-stricken apostles and said to them, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). From that moment, the apostles waited for Christ’s Second Coming.
The Second Coming, in fact, provided one of the main themes of the apostles’ preaching. Paul, especially, emphasized this event as one that would be glorious and joyful for the faithful in Christ—both those who were living when Christ returned, and those who had died in Christ. In relating some of the events that would accompany Christ’s Second Coming, Paul wrote: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The event, as Paul described it, would be one of splendor and comfort for those faithful to Christ. Christ will not send an angel or some other dignitary to bring Christians to heaven, but He will come “Himself.” His coming will be announced with a loud shout, the voice of an archangel, and the trumpet of God. According to Paul, Christ will not “sneak back” to Earth, but will be announced in a glorious fashion for all to see.
How long will it take for the faithful followers of Christ to be ushered up into heaven with their Lord? Paul answered this question in 1 Corinthians 15 in his discussion of the resurrection of the saints. He wrote: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep [meaning that not all Christians will die physically before the Second Coming—KB], but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). In a single instance, as fast as an eye can blink, the resurrection of the saints will be accomplished at the Second Coming of Christ.
Other events that will accompany the Second Coming deal with the ultimate end of this physical Universe. The apostle Peter, in a discourse dealing with scoffers who attempt to deny the Second Coming of Christ, wrote:
But the day of the lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with a fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:10-13).
Peter’s description of the destruction of this physical Universe leaves little to the imagination: the Earth and the heavens (i.e., the totality of this physical Universe) will utterly melt with a fervent heat, and will be destroyed once and for all. There will be no reign of Christ on this Earth at His Second Coming, since Peter clearly depicts the destruction of the physical Earth. The new heaven and the new Earth for which Peter says faithful Christians yearn, are the spiritual homes promised by Jesus in John 14:1-6, and described so vividly in Revelation 21 and 22. They will not be of physical matter like the present heavens and Earth, but instead will be designed especially for the new spiritual bodies discussed by Paul. When Christ comes again, this physical Universe will be destroyed.
What will happen to those who have not been faithful to Christ during their lives on this Earth? Since there will be no physical Universe on which they can continue to live, where will they go? The Bible paints a grim picture for those who reject Christ. John, quoting the words of Christ, wrote that “the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His [Jesus’—KB] voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29). The apostle Paul later confirmed this statement when He wrote about the time “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8).
On that fateful day, all of Earth’s inhabitants—both those that have died in the past and those that are living at the time—will be led into the final Judgment in which Christ will divide the righteous from the unrighteous, as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. The righteous will be ushered into heaven (prepared for them by Jesus Himself), while the unrighteous will “go away into everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46). All those who have rejected God and Christ, whose names are not found written in the Book of Life, will be cast into the lake of fire with the devil, and “they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10-15).
Although many strange and contrived stories have been concocted regarding the Second Coming of Christ, the Bible presents a crystal clear picture of what will happen: Christ will appear to the entire world, the heavens and the Earth will be burned up, and at the final Judgment, every person who ever lived will either live eternally in heaven or hell. There will be no second chances once Christ comes back. “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of person ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11)?

From Mark Copeland... Paul's Transfer To Caesarea (Acts 23:11-35)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                Paul's Transfer To Caesarea (23:11-35)

INTRODUCTION

1. After Paul's defense before the council...
   a. Once again his life is threatened - Ac 23:10
   b. Once again he is saved by the Roman soldiers - cf. Ac 21:30-36;
      22:22-23

2. The following night the Lord appeared to Paul...
   a. Telling him, "Be of good cheer" (i.e., take courage) - Ac 23:11
   b. Promising him, "For as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so
      you must also bear witness at Rome." - ibid.

[With such an encouraging vision, Paul could take great comfort knowing
what the Lord promised.  But it would not happen soon.  It would take
at least two years, starting with...]

I. PAUL'S TRANSFER TO CAESAREA

   A. PRECIPITATED BY A PLOT...
      1. A foolish plot - Ac 23:12-15
         a. Forty Jews bound themselves with an oath not to eat nor drink
            until they killed Paul
         b. They conspired with the chief priests and elders to have Paul
            brought before the council
         c. Planning to kill Paul before he arrived
      2. A failed plot - Ac 23:16-22
         a. Overheard by Paul's sister's son, who then told Paul
         b. Paul had a centurion take his nephew to the commander
         c. Informed of the plot, the commander sent Paul's nephew away 

   B. PROTECTED BY THE ROMANS...
      1. With a Roman guard - Ac 23:23-24,31-32
         a. Two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, two hundred spearmen
         b. Leaving Jerusalem at the third hour of the night (9pm)
         c. With the seventy horsemen escorting Paul beyond Antiparis
      2. With a Roman letter - Ac 23:25-30,33-35
         a. Written by Claudius Lysias (Roman commander) to Felix (Roman
            governor)
         b. Read by Felix, who arranged another hearing for Paul and his
            accusers

[Until the hearing, Paul was detained in Herod's Praetorium (Ac 23:35).
 We will read his defense before Felix in our next study. But for now...]

II. SOME OBSERVATIONS

   A. GOD'S PROVIDENCE...
      1. We find in Paul's life an example of God's providence
      2. Similar to what we read of Joseph's life in the book of Genesis
         - cf. Gen 37-50
      3. In both cases, God made a promise - cf. Ac 23:11; Gen 37:5-11
      4. The promises were fulfilled, though it took years with 
         intervening challenges
      5. Similarly, God may answer our prayers, but it may not be when 
         and how we expect
      6. Like Paul and Joseph, we must place our trust in God that He
         will provide what we need

   B. MAN'S FAILINGS...
      1. Until he wrote the letter to Felix, the Roman commander was
         commendable in his actions
         a. He used his forces to protect Paul's life on several
            occasions
         b. He made several efforts to learn the truth about who Paul
            was
      2. But in writing to Felix, the Roman commander lied!
         a. He claimed to have rescued Paul knowing him to be a Roman
            - Ac 23:27
         b. He did not know Paul was a Roman until almost scourging him 
            - Ac 22:24-29
      3. He apparently was trying to protect himself, or trying to save
         face
         a. Twisting the truth, making himself look good
         b. A common weakness and failing among men
      4. Compare that to the godly character described by David in his 
         psalm
         a. Who speaks the truth in his heart - Ps 15:2
         b. Who swears to his own hurt and does not change - Ps 15:4
      5. Why we must put our trust in the Lord, not man! - Ps 146:3-7;
         Jer 17:5-6 

CONCLUSION

1. In who do you place your trust..?
   a. In man, who often lies to protect himself?
   b. Or in God, who cannot lie! - He 6:18; Tit 1:2

2. In trusting God, do you make allowances for His providential 
   workings...?
   a. Understanding that He does not always fulfill his promises in the
      way we expect?
   b. Remembering that as God, His ways and thoughts are not like our
      own? - Isa 55:8-9

Paul's life, like that of Joseph, is a reminder that while God keeps
His promises, it may involve much time and many experiences before they
are fully realized.  Even so...

   Seek the LORD while He may be found,
      Call upon Him while He is near.
   Let the wicked forsake his way,
      And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
   Let him return to the LORD,
      And He will have mercy on him;
   And to our God,
      For He will abundantly pardon.
                             - Isa 55:6-7

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2013

From Gary... Bible Reading July 26



 Bible Reading  

July 26

The World English Bible

July 26
2 Chronicles 10-12

2Ch 10:1 Rehoboam went to Shechem; for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.
2Ch 10:2 It happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of king Solomon), that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt.
2Ch 10:3 They sent and called him; and Jeroboam and all Israel came, and they spoke to Rehoboam, saying,
2Ch 10:4 Your father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make you the grievous service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, lighter, and we will serve you.
2Ch 10:5 He said to them, Come again to me after three days. The people departed.
2Ch 10:6 King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel do you give me to return answer to this people?
2Ch 10:7 They spoke to him, saying, If you are kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.
2Ch 10:8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him.
2Ch 10:9 He said to them, What counsel do you give, that we may return answer to this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke that your father did put on us lighter?
2Ch 10:10 The young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, Thus you shall tell the people who spoke to you, saying, Your father made our yoke heavy, but make it lighter on us; thus you shall say to them, My little finger is thicker than my father's waist.
2Ch 10:11 Now whereas my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
2Ch 10:12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come to me again the third day.
2Ch 10:13 The king answered them roughly; and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men,
2Ch 10:14 and spoke to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
2Ch 10:15 So the king didn't listen to the people; for it was brought about of God, that Yahweh might establish his word, which he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
2Ch 10:16 When all Israel saw that the king didn't listen to them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to your tents, Israel: now see to your own house, David. So all Israel departed to their tents.
2Ch 10:17 But as for the children of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.
2Ch 10:18 Then king Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the men subject to forced labor; and the children of Israel stoned him to death with stones. King Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.
2Ch 10:19 So Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day.
2Ch 11:1 When Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, one hundred eighty thousand chosen men, who were warriors, to fight against Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam.
2Ch 11:2 But the word of Yahweh came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
2Ch 11:3 Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying,
2Ch 11:4 Thus says Yahweh, You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers: return every man to his house; for this thing is of me. So they listened to the words of Yahweh, and returned from going against Jeroboam.
2Ch 11:5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and built cities for defense in Judah.
2Ch 11:6 He built Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa,
2Ch 11:7 Beth Zur, and Soco, and Adullam,
2Ch 11:8 and Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph,
2Ch 11:9 and Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah,
2Ch 11:10 and Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin, fortified cities.
2Ch 11:11 He fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and stores of food, and oil and wine.
2Ch 11:12 In every city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong. Judah and Benjamin belonged to him.
2Ch 11:13 The priests and the Levites who were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their border.
2Ch 11:14 For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons cast them off, that they should not execute the priest's office to Yahweh;
2Ch 11:15 and he appointed him priests for the high places, and for the male goats, and for the calves which he had made.
2Ch 11:16 After them, out of all the tribes of Israel, such as set their hearts to seek Yahweh, the God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to Yahweh, the God of their fathers.
2Ch 11:17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years; for they walked three years in the way of David and Solomon.
2Ch 11:18 Rehoboam took him a wife, Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse;
2Ch 11:19 and she bore him sons: Jeush, and Shemariah, and Zaham.
2Ch 11:20 After her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom; and she bore him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith.
2Ch 11:21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and sixty concubines, and became the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.)
2Ch 11:22 Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah to be chief, even the prince among his brothers; for he was minded to make him king.
2Ch 11:23 He dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his sons throughout all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, to every fortified city: and he gave them food in abundance. He sought for them many wives.
2Ch 12:1 It happened, when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established, and he was strong, that he forsook the law of Yahweh, and all Israel with him.
2Ch 12:2 It happened in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had trespassed against Yahweh,
2Ch 12:3 with twelve hundred chariots, and sixty thousand horsemen. The people were without number who came with him out of Egypt: the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Ethiopians.
2Ch 12:4 He took the fortified cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem.
2Ch 12:5 Now Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, who were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, Thus says Yahweh, You have forsaken me, therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak.
2Ch 12:6 Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, Yahweh is righteous.
2Ch 12:7 When Yahweh saw that they humbled themselves, the word of Yahweh came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves: I will not destroy them; but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.
2Ch 12:8 Nevertheless they shall be his servants, that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.
2Ch 12:9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of Yahweh, and the treasures of the king's house: he took all away: he took away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made.
2Ch 12:10 King Rehoboam made in their place shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house.
2Ch 12:11 It was so, that as often as the king entered into the house of Yahweh, the guard came and bore them, and brought them back into the guard chamber.
2Ch 12:12 When he humbled himself, the wrath of Yahweh turned from him, so as not to destroy him altogether: and moreover in Judah there were good things found.
2Ch 12:13 So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which Yahweh had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there: and his mother's name was Naamah the Ammonitess.
2Ch 12:14 He did that which was evil, because he didn't set his heart to seek Yahweh.
2Ch 12:15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, aren't they written in the histories of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, after the manner of genealogies? There were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually.
2Ch 12:16 Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his place.

 
Jul. 26, 27
Acts 16

Act 16:1 He came to Derbe and Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess who believed; but his father was a Greek.
Act 16:2 The brothers who were at Lystra and Iconium gave a good testimony about him.
Act 16:3 Paul wanted to have him go out with him, and he took and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts; for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
Act 16:4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered the decrees to them to keep which had been ordained by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem.
Act 16:5 So the assemblies were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
Act 16:6 When they had gone through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.
Act 16:7 When they had come opposite Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit didn't allow them.
Act 16:8 Passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.
Act 16:9 A vision appeared to Paul in the night. There was a man of Macedonia standing, begging him, and saying, "Come over into Macedonia and help us."
Act 16:10 When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go out to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the Good News to them.
Act 16:11 Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made a straight course to Samothrace, and the day following to Neapolis;
Act 16:12 and from there to Philippi, which is a city of Macedonia, the foremost of the district, a Roman colony. We were staying some days in this city.
Act 16:13 On the Sabbath day we went forth outside of the city by a riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down, and spoke to the women who had come together.
Act 16:14 A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one who worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened to listen to the things which were spoken by Paul.
Act 16:15 When she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and stay." So she persuaded us.
Act 16:16 It happened, as we were going to prayer, that a certain girl having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling.
Act 16:17 Following Paul and us, she cried out, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us a way of salvation!"
Act 16:18 She was doing this for many days. But Paul, becoming greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" It came out that very hour.
Act 16:19 But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas, and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers.
Act 16:20 When they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, "These men, being Jews, are agitating our city,
Act 16:21 and set forth customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans."
Act 16:22 The multitude rose up together against them, and the magistrates tore their clothes off of them, and commanded them to be beaten with rods.
Act 16:23 When they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely,
Act 16:24 who, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, and secured their feet in the stocks.
Act 16:25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Act 16:26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were loosened.
Act 16:27 The jailer, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
Act 16:28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, "Don't harm yourself, for we are all here!"
Act 16:29 He called for lights and sprang in, and, fell down trembling before Paul and Silas,
Act 16:30 and brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
Act 16:31 They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
Act 16:32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all who were in his house.
Act 16:33 He took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was immediately baptized, he and all his household.
Act 16:34 He brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his household, having believed in God.
Act 16:35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, "Let those men go."
Act 16:36 The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, "The magistrates have sent to let you go; now therefore come out, and go in peace."
Act 16:37 But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us publicly, without a trial, men who are Romans, and have cast us into prison! Do they now release us secretly? No, most certainly, but let them come themselves and bring us out!"
Act 16:38 The sergeants reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans,
Act 16:39 and they came and begged them. When they had brought them out, they asked them to depart from the city.
Act 16:40 They went out of the prison, and entered into Lydia's house. When they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them, and departed.

From Gary... Today, smile and enjoy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvlW4bEjB5A

When I took my dogs for a walk it was almost cool (that was 7:30 am). For some reason, I was fascinated with the glistening droplets of moisture on the freshly cut grass of the dog walk.  They seemed like ten thousand little jewels put there, just to make me happy. I have no idea WHY I was thinking like this, but, hey- who's complaining!!!  And then I came across this silly little picture and a link to a song that you might enjoy.  No, there really isn't a point to this, except for the truth in the passage below...

Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3 (NASB)
Ecc 3:1  There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven--
Ecc 3:4  A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.

Today, smile and enjoy the view of the world around you. Tell a couple of jokes, make a silly face in the mirror (or if you are a bit more adventurous, make that face at someone else), do something just for the fun of it. In other words, enjoy yourself while it is still today and not tomorrow, when troubles may come. You know, I haven't thought much about it lately, but I believe that God WANTS ME TO BE HAPPY!!! Maybe I just might try following my own advice!!!