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11 But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”

 

Verse 11 is a statement of distinct approval of Paul’s course of ministry. Not only did Jesus approve of what Paul did, but He set him on a new and larger course of ministry to the Gentiles. However, He would take the apostle on a challenging course that would put him before the nation of Rome. God would use unusual providences to get him there.

But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”

Paul was at a point where he felt abandoned. He could have been greatly discouraged that all his attempts to resolve his problems with the Jews failed. The next night, the Lord came to Paul and gave him a word of encouragement. The Lord tells him that he will testify in Rome. This vision is the fourth of five he received in the book of Acts (Acts 16:9; 18:9-10; 22:17-21; 27:23-24).

PRINCIPLE:

The Lord Jesus reassured Paul about his role in God’s plan.

APPLICATION:

God encourages in times of need. The church could not help him, and both religion and governmental forces arraigned their forces against him. The Lord Jesus had a purpose for Paul’s arrest and sending to Rome. As he bore witness in Jerusalem, he would witness in Rome. He would “testify” about Christ to the Roman government. The ascended Lord Jesus was in control of Paul’s problems. This is the encouragement that Paul needed after so many attacked him and his message.

Little did the nation realize that they were under judgment for rejecting the gospel message and not the apostle Paul. By his testimony, they stood under God’s judgment for rejecting the resurrected Christ. Now, Paul’s assignment became the Gentile world. 

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