When we had been brought to safety, we learned that we were on the
island of Malta.
The local people showed us unusual kindness. Because of the rain and the cold, they built a
fire and welcomed us all.When Paul
gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a poisonous snake came
out because of the heat and fastened itself on his hand.
When the local
people saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “This
man is undoubtedly a murderer, and though he has escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live!”But Paul shook the snake off into the
fire and was not harmed.
They were expecting that he was about to swell up
or suddenly fall down dead. But after they waited for a long time and saw
nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a
7 Nearby were fields belonging to Publius, the leading Roman official of the island.
He welcomed us and showed us hospitality for three days. 8 Publius’
father was sick in bed with fever and dysentery. Paul went to see
him, and after praying, he laid his hands on him and healed him.
 9 After that, the rest of the sick people on the island came and were healed.
10 They honored us greatly, and as we were preparing to set sail they provided us with everything we needed. 11 After three months we set sail on a ship from Alexandria which had wintered at the island, and which had the twin gods as its figurehead.
12 We landed at Syracuse and stayed there three days. 13 From there we cast off
and arrived at Rhegium. The next day a south wind began to blow, and the
following day we arrived at Puteoli.
14 There we found some brothers, and
they invited us to stay a week with them. And in this way we came to Rome. 15 When the brothers from Rome heard of our arrival, they came to
as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns. When Paul saw
them, he thanked God and was encouraged.
16 When we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the
soldier who was guarding him.
17 Three days later Paul invited the local Jewish leaders to come to see him. When they had assembled he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our forefathers, I was turned over to the Romans in Jerusalem as a prisoner. 18 The Romans held a hearing and wanted to set me free because there was
no basis for a death sentence against me.
19 But when the Jews objected to my release, I was
forced to appeal to Caesar, yet not because I had any accusation to bring against
my own people. 20 So then I asked to see you and speak to you,
because it is for the hope of Israel
that I am tied with this chain.” 21 They responded, “We received no letters from Judea about you, nor did any of
our brothers there come here to report or say anything negative about you. 22 But we would
like to hear what your beliefs are, because we know that this sect is spoken
23 They set a day to meet with him, and then they came in even greater numbers to
the place where he was staying. From morning till night Paul explained to
them, solemnly testifying about the Kingdom of God
and trying to convince them
about Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the prophets. 24 Some of them
were persuaded by what Paul said, but others refused to believe.
 25 They were unable to agree among themselves and they began to leave, after Paul had spoken one final word: “The holy spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your forefathers:
26 ‘Go to this people and say, “You will keep on
hearing but never understand, and you will keep on looking but never see. 27 For the minds of these people have become hardened, and they are barely able to
hear with their ears, and they have shut their eyes tight.
might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and understand with their
minds, and turn, and I would heal them.”’
 28 So then let it be known to you that this salvation of God
has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will
listen to it!”
 30 Paul stayed two full years there at his own expense, and he
welcomed everyone who came to him,
31 proclaiming the Gospel of the
Kingdom of God and teaching about the lord Jesus Messiah with complete
openness and without restriction.
This is humorous, showing the pitiful superstition of ignorant people. Luke, recording the life
of Paul so brilliantly, seems to tower above this ignorance. Paul was able to take charge of a whole ship
and based on what God told him, comfort and encourage them all. Such is the power of truth and
This reminds us of the immediate healing by Jesus of Peter’s mother-in-law’s high fever in
They went out to meet the distinguished visitor and accompanied him to his destination. This is
exactly the same procedure as in 1 Thess. 4:16-18, where Christians will be caught up (after the Great
Tribulation, not before it) to meet Jesus and escort him to the earth. A further parallel is found in Matt.
The Christian Gospel of the Kingdom of God to be established on earth at the Second Coming
of Jesus, for which Christians must now prepare with all urgency and zeal.
The seventh Kingdom text in Acts. The grand climax and conclusion of Luke’s marvelous
account is to inform us that Paul was following exactly the same Gospel of the Kingdom preaching as
Jesus. This is the task of all believers, until the end of the age (Mt. 28:19-20).
Compare John 3:36, where refusal to obey Jesus and believe in him or acceptance of him by
obeying him is the central question in Christian faith and salvation. Being persuaded is the same as
believing and believing and obeying are inseparable. One cannot have faith or belief without obedience.
Isa. 53:11 reminds us that the Messiah, God’s servant makes people righteous not only by his saving
death and resurrection but also by his knowledge. The same importance is attached to knowledge in
Dan. 12:3, 10. “People perish for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6; Isa. 5:13: “My people go into exile for
lack of knowledge”).
This is certainly not Calvinism! The responsibility for believing the Gospel of the Kingdom
rests with your human choice. We are not robots but are faced with a choice. If we close our eyes, we
are responsible for the dreadful consequences of disobedience to the Gospel (Mk. 1:14-15).
This is precisely the same saving Gospel as preached by Jesus and expanded in the parable of
the sower. Repentance and forgiveness of sin are conditioned upon an intelligent reception of the
Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Mt. 13:19; Mk. 4:11-12), abbreviated in shorthand form as “the word”
often in Acts and in the parable of the sower in Matt. 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8. Luke 8:12 and Acts 8:12,
easily memorized, are marvelous summary statements of the Gospel and our necessary response to that
Gospel of the Kingdom, for salvation.
God’s Gospel about the Kingdom (Mk. 1:14-15; Lk. 4:43; Mt. 4:23).
Early manuscripts do not contain v. 29: “When he had spoken these words, the Jews departed,
in a great dispute among themselves.
The eighth Kingdom text in Acts. Thus Paul ends where Jesus began, welcoming the people
and preaching God’s Gospel about the Kingdom of God. Jesus did exactly this in Luke 9:11: He
“welcomed the people and spoke to them about the Kingdom of God” (cp. Heb. 2:3). For our 260 15-
minute radio programs on the Kingdom of God, please go to restorationfellowship.org. There are also
many articles there on the Kingdom and the Gospel.