I usually don’t watch a movie more than once. If it is good I will watch maybe twice. We have a cabinet full of dvd’s and it drives Ginnie Crazy that I wont watch them.
However in December 1997 there was a movie that came out my Senior Year in High School that I went to the theathers 3 times to see. I was memorized by it. The movie was the Titantic.
You know the Story the ship goes down it sinks, in part because they didn’t listen to the warnings about iceburgs and the crew wanted to pull into port a day early.
Today we are going to see Paul give a warning and the people not listen and because of that their will be consequences.
In Paul presented the Gospel to those who are the who’s who of Caeserea.
Festus the governeor, Agrippia and Burnice where their. They rejected the gospel.
The Chapter ends with a private conversation betweeen Agrippa and Festus where Agrippa tells Festus this man would be free had he not appealed to Caesar.
1 And when it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan Cohort named Julius. 2 And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. 3 The next day we put in at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him leave to go to his friends and be cared for.
Julius the guy in charge lets Paul go and be ministered by his friends in the the port city of Sidon.
Dr. Luke has joined the journey again and Aristicus will be with him.
It is important that the Christian not walk this journey alone. Paul here we see had friends we also see that they cared for Paul in his time of need.
The Church is to be more than a business. It is to be more than a Social Club. It is be more than a group of people coming together once a week to worship.
The Body of Christ is to be a group of beleivers that live life together. That are friends and that meet each others needs.
Many try to walk the Christian walk by themselves. But Jesus didn’t do this, Paul didn’t do this. They shared their life with other believers and in their time of trouble the other belivers cared for them.
There are two parts to this.
First the church must be willing to care for those who are in need.
Many churches don’t care for those who are fellow Christ followers. They don’t want to meet the needs of those in their community.
Second, the Christ follower must be willing to be vorable enough to share their needs.
Many times there are needs and the Christ follower is so prideful that they wont share the need so someone can help.
4 And putting out to sea from there we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us.
Have you ever set sail to accomplish something. Maybe even something the Lord has called you to and even the wind is against you.
Paul was called by Jesus to go to Caesar. He has followed Gods plan and yet we read in verse 4 that as they set sail the wind was against them.
Some at that point would say well. This can’t be Gods will it is difficult. This can’t be Gods will the wind is against us.
We at that point begin to question weather we have heard from God.
Just because Jesus tells you something it does not mean the journey to get their will be easy.
Just because Jesus has promised us heaven and in the end it works out for the Christ follower does not mean the dash in the middle will be easy.
This past week we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King watched a conference the Gospel coalition put on. In that conference one of the pastors said that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dream will be fullfilled one day even if it is in Heaven where their will be people from every tribe language and people. However the journey to get their may be difficult
5 And when we had sailed across the open sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra in Lycia. 6 There the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing for Italy and put us on board. 7 We sailed slowly for a number of days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, and as the wind did not allow us to go farther, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone. 8 Coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near which was the city of Lasea.
Notice they didn’t turn back. Paul kept pressing forward in light of opposition.
Notice here in verse 7 and verse 8 we are told twice it was difficult.
They didn’t just face one hardship. As we read this text we see that Paul who following what Jesus has told him to do is facing difficulty after difficulty.
Notice in verse 8 where they landed. They landed in Fair Haven.
In the middle of the storms of life God will some times give us Fair Havens to rest for a while.
9 Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” 11 But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said.
9 Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.”
Notice the word danerous again in verse 9. Paul knows they are about to head in a dangerous direction. So Paul speaks up and advises them.
Paul was an experienced Sailor. He knew that during this time of years Northeasters would arise. Paul has been shipped wrecked before. Paul is speaking from expereince.
When someone has experience and they are speaking from that experience it is wise to listen to their council.
I don’t know about you but you would think they would listen to Paul. He is educated, He is a man that seems to know what he is talking about. He is a man that God knows and speaks to. You think they would listen.
Paul tells them in verse 10 that this voyage is going to cost them. This voyage is going to bring them injury. This voyage is going to bring much loss. He tells them that not only their cargo, but also their lives.
Do you think they listened.
Listen if you have a man who walks with God, talks with God, is experenced in the subject matters speaks and God has blessed him and watched after him, when he speaks up and gives you a warning or wisdom you better listen.
Look to the old Testament any time a man of God spoke and the people didn’t listen it didn’t end well.
Notice their reason for not wanting to listen to Paul. Their comforts where not going to be met in the winter.
12 And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.
Verse 12 tells us that since it was not suitable for them they pushed on and ignored the man of God.
This is not the proper way to chose Gods will for your life. God will sometimes call you to do things that are not suitable to you. He will sometimes call you to do things you are not comfortable with. He will sometimes call you to do things that you will not like.
Any time anyone ignores the will of God and pushes forward for something that is more suitable to them. You can bet it will cost you somewhere.
They took a vote and the vote was 3 to 1. And we know that the majority can’t never be wrong.
Sometimes we are not satisfied with the direction that God may be leading so we decide that since our needs are not met we will push a little more so life will be a little easier.
You only have to look to the 10 spies in the land come back and a majority saying it was not safe to go in.
It was safer for them to face the giants in the land than go against the will of God and spend the next 40 years in the wilderness.
It would have been safer for the sailors to stay in fair Heavn even though it was not as covered as the other port. It is going to cost them.
Church please here me this morning. It is safer to face our fears and dangers in front of us if it is Gods will then turn and go our own way.
13 Now when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to the shore. 14 But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, struck down from the land. 15 And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along.
I love Dr. Luke writing style. The start out and Dr. Luke lets us think everything is going good. The wind blew gently he tells us in verse 13. He tells us they thought they had obtained their purpose.
Then 14 come. They get caught in a northeaster.
I have been in a northeaster. They are not fun. A northeaster is a hurricane in the middle of winter.
The wind is blowing, it is cold, the waves are high. They lost control of the boat. It is heading in its own direction.
In the greek and Hebrew it means thyphone
Do you think Gods hand was on Paul. I do. Do you think God gave Paul a word to warn them. I do.
They started out and everything seemed to be going well and before they realized it they where in the middle of a huge storm and they had lost control of the boat. The water was coming over the sides. The wind is blowing, and it is cold. Had only they listened to the man of God and stayed in the port that was not suitable to them.
They would have avoided this storm all together.
There is a listen for us here. It is always better to stay somewhere not suitable for us, than to move on in a direction that God has told you not to go. Because their may be a northeaster on the horizen.
In verses 16 and 17 they finally get control of the ship
In verse 18-20 we see
That they are giving up hope.
They don’t see the sun or stars. That is a big deal to sailors. In those days they didn’t have gps systems. They realied on the stars and the sun to direct them and tell them where they where.
They had not see any other ships as well. They where alone.
They could see neither they where lost. They had no idea were they where at. Had only they listened to the man of God.
Verse 20 says
20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.
They gave up hope.
Maybe you are in the middle of a storm. You have lost your berian. You are lost. You feel abandoned and have given up on all hope to be saved.
I love verse 21
21 Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss.
It tells us the men had been without food for a long time. What does Paul do. He stand and does what we all of wanted to do at one time or another. I told you so.
Have you ever told somebody something and they not listen, which lead to a storm in the person life and you wanted to stand and say I told you so. That is Paul or is it.
22 Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24 and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.
No Paul is not rubbing their faces in their mistake. Paul is pointing them to Jesus. He is reminding them of what God has promised him. God had promised him that he was going to Caesar.
Paul took this crisis and is now using it as a gospel opportunity.
Many who may not listen to you will listen in the middle of a crisis to the gospel.
Paul says take courage for God has not fulfilled his promise yet. We will get out of this.
Paul is saying take courage you may have brought this storm on yourself. You may have rebelled it may have cost you a little but the anchor still holds. God is not done yet.
In Verse 23 Paul says that very night there a angle of God stood before Him.
The anchor holds my friends. In the middle of our Storms The God of our salvation does not leave us but goes with us through the storms.
Paul says he has faith in God that he will do exactly what he has said.
We must take courage today for God will do what he has said. God will not go against his word.
Yes we may face trials, yes we may go through these storms But God will keep his word.
Also notice that Paul, who tried to follow God, who warned the people in charge not to go still went through the storm.
He had to go through the northeaster as well. Had Paul done wrong, no.
But because he was with those who had rebelled against God it still affected him as well.
Here me church we people decide not to follow God it does not just afftect those who rejected God, it affects those who didn’t as well.
Let me give you an illustration of this. The people of God rejected going into the promise land and even the children to young to say anything still had to be out in the desert for 40 years.
When people reject Gods plan it doesn’t just affect them. It will affect then generations to come and those who warned about not follow God.
In verse 27-30
They are now 500 hundred miles off course.
They didn’t follow God to get 40 more miles up the coast and now they are 500 miles off track.
When we try to gain a little more than God directs us and we don’t follow we end up 500 miles from where we want to be.
They start to run a ground where they would all die.
Some Sailors start to let the anchors down others start to get in the life boats.
Those in the life boats start to look after themselves. They are acting selfish.
In times of Crisis there will be some who are out for their ownselves.
Paul tells the centurian if they leave they will die.
They let the life boats go and stay on the ship.
Paul tells them to eat for God will save them
35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat.
Notice what the man of God continues to do. He continues to praise God and worship him.
Others in the same situation may have been mad with God.
Saying things like I warned them God why did I have to go through the storm. Not Paul. Paul continued to praise God.
We must continue to praise God no matter our circumstances. Because God is God no matter the circumstances.
In the middle of our storms let us continue to have faith in what God has told us. Let us continue to call out to him. Let us continue to worship Him.
39 Now when it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned if possible to run the ship ashore. 40 So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders. Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach. 41 But striking a reef, they ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was being broken up by the surf. 42 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, 44 and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.
They see land, they think everything is going to be ok and what do the sailors want to do. They want to kill the prisnors and that included Paul. The one who had saved them. The one who had carried them through the storm.
Church, I want to remind you their are consequences for not following God.
Not only for those who disobey the will of God, but also for those who are close quarters with them as well.
But is Jesus not a better Paul.
Paul had to go through the storm. Joshua and Caleb had to go through the wilderness
Non-the-less we must continue to praise God and lift him up because the anchor holds.
Jesus came and warned us all about following Him and then he went through the ultimate storm of dying for our sins on a cruel rugged cross.
Jesus was even willing to praise the father by death.
If the sailors had listened to Paul they would have been safe. If we will listen to Jesus and follow him we will find salvation. Life may not always be suitable, but it is better than rejecting his call and facing death without him.