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PAUL’S FAITHFUL SERVICE 

Scripture: Acts 28:11–31; 2 Timothy 4:6–8; Revelation 2:10

Memory verse: Revelation 2:10
"Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer...Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor's crown."

Lead—In

Read the following obituary to the class.

Peter Andrew, 74, died at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at his home in Lome, Togo.

Peter was born December 2, 1919, in Lome and resided there his entire life. Survivors include his wife, Mary, three daughters, and eight grandchildren.

Peter was a member of Lome Assembly of God church where he served as a deacon. He had been a teacher in the church for 40 years. He also served in various community activities. Peter was employed at Michelin Tire factory and retired as a foreman in 1985. His retirement banquet was the only one in the company’s history to be attended by all the employees.

Funeral services for Peter will be held at Lome Assembly of God church on Saturday, June 4, at 11:00 a.m. Representatives from his church, family, and company will read tributes to Peter at the funeral. Burial will follow at the city cemetery.

After you finish reading, discuss the following questions with your students: What can we tell about Peter Andrew from his death notice? According to the article, what effect did he have on those around him in his place of work, in the council he served on, in his church? Mention that although Peter’s life did not seem outstanding, his faithfulness to God and his Christian character apparently had been an influence on all those who knew him.

Explain that the way we live will determine our effect on other people and how we will be remembered by them. Explain that in this study they will learn how one of God’s servants is remembered.

Hearing God’s Word

Paul’s trip from Caesarea to Rome can be considered his final missionary journey. The account we learned of last week ended on the island of Malta, where Paul and the other prisoners were shipwrecked. Paul and the others, including Julius the centurion and his soldiers, spent 3 months at Malta waiting for the winter to pass. At the end of winter, the men boarded an Alexandrian ship and set out to sea, heading again for Rome. (Ask a student to read Acts 28:11–14.)

The Trip to Rome

The trip from Malta to Rome took about 2 to 3 weeks. They spent 3 days at Syracuse, one in Rhegium (REE-JEE-UHM), and a week at Puteoli (Pooh-TEE-oe-lee).

From Puteoli they went on to Rome. Paul’s Christian friends had heard he was coming. Many of them travelled a great distance to greet him upon his arrival in Rome. Paul was encouraged by their being there.

While in Rome, Paul was still considered a prisoner, yet he was allowed to stay in private quarters rather than in a prison cell. Paul lived by himself, except for one soldier who was to guard him at all times.

Paul Meets with Jewish Leaders

What did Paul do after he settled in Rome? (Ask a student to read Acts 28:17–20.) He called for a meeting of the Jewish leaders in Rome and explained to them why he had been arrested and also why he had appealed his case before Caesar.

Paul wanted to do his best to present all the true facts. “I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors,” he said. He explained that in Caesarea the Romans had believed he was innocent and deserved to be set free. Yet because of some Jews’ objections, he had felt it was necessary to appeal to Caesar. Now in Rome, Paul knew these Jewish leaders deserved an explanation.

How did the Jewish leaders respond to what Paul told them? (Have a student read Acts 28:21, 22.) The leaders had received no bad reports about Paul. But they knew Paul had a unique testimony, and they were curious to know more about the Christianity of which he preached. The Jewish leaders arranged another meeting with Paul to give him the opportunity to express his views.

(Read Acts 28:23.) From morning until evening on the day of the meeting Paul preached and taught about Jesus. He used the Law of Moses and the writings of the prophets to prove his claims and convince the Jews of the truth about salvation. Even as a prisoner, Paul was still working for God.

Paul Tells of His Mission

Did the Jewish leaders accept the things Paul had to say? (Ask a student to read Acts 28:24, 25.)

Some believed, but naturally there were many who disagreed with Paul’s teachings. Paul was not surprised. In fact, he quoted the words of Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet. Isaiah’s teachings included the foretelling of the Jews’ reaction to the words of Jesus. It also confirmed the teachings of Paul about Jesus. (Ask a student to read Acts 28:26, 27.)

Once again Paul repeated what he had been saying over and over for many months. “I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen.” (Acts 28:28.) Paul wanted the Jews to know of the open hearts of the Gentiles in the hope that the Jews too would accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

(Ask a student to read Acts 28:30, 31.) Paul lived 2 years under house arrest in Rome. During his imprisonment, Paul spoke to many people, boldly teaching and preaching about Jesus. Paul wrote some of the books in our Bible during this time of imprisonment.

(Read Revelation 2:10.) Our memory verse encourages us to live as Paul lived—faithful unto death. Paul knew that a Christian who lives his life in obedience to God would receive a “crown of life.”

Ask: “What do you think the term ‘crown of life’ means?” (Allow responses.)

A crown of life is the wonderful gift of eternal life in heaven.

Paul is Faithful

Paul knew his work on earth was almost finished. He had worked hard and told many people about Jesus. He had endured persecution and hardship. (Ask a student to read 2 Corinthians 11:24–28.) He had certainly been through a lot! Yet throughout Paul’s life, he had remained true to God. He never stopped living for Jesus. He never stopped believing the message he had been called to preach.

Paul was not afraid to die. He had lived a godly life, so he knew he had a blessed eternity ahead of him. His conscience was clear because he knew he had been obedient to God. He had the assurance from God of a crown of eternal life in heaven. Was this crown only for Paul? No, Second Timothy 4:8 assures us that the eternal reward is for everyone who is obedient to God and looks forward in hope for His return. (Ask a student to read 2 Timothy 4:7, 8.)

The Good Fight

Whether we are old or young, it is our job to be faithful to God. He requires us to be obedient. When we accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we become His representatives to the world. We must learn to be responsible to do the things required of us.

Ask: “What are some responsibilities you have now?” (Allow responses.)

Have you ever thought of household chores or homework as tasks you can do for God?

God’s Word tells us to do our tasks as if we were doing them for God. (Ask a student to read Colossians 3:23.) Everything we do—even household duties—can show our faithfulness to God. We should be honest in what we do. Stuffing clothes under the bed instead of putting them away, for example, is not a way to be faithful in our chores. Hanging them up in their proper place, on the other hand, is the correct way to take care of them. If we are asked to do a chore, we should do it completely and correctly. We should also do our tasks without grumbling or complaining.

Paul probably got tired of preaching to people who would not listen to him, but he kept going without complaining because of his faithfulness to God. We can also show our faithfulness to God in our tasks by doing even more than is asked of us. Our obedience and willingness to help our parents cheerfully will not only please them, but it will please God by our attitude.

Accepting God’s Word

As you grow older, your responsibilities will change. You will begin to make some decisions that will affect the rest of your life. Learning to be faithful to the things God asks of you now will make it easier to obey and hear His voice when the decisions get harder and of greater importance. The main thing God requires of a Christian is obedience.

Ask: “How can obedience to God affect some of the future decisions you will make?” (Allow discussion. Mention topics, such as decisions on higher education, marriage and career choices.)

God also requires us to be faithful in sharing His Word with others. Each of us will come in contact with a different set of people throughout our lives. God has allowed us to meet certain people so we can share the message of the gospel with them. We are God’s messengers; we can testify about Him and witness to those who are unsaved.

Ask: “What can we do to help people know of God’s love?” (Discuss this together.)

Zalamo Prayer

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth (among the Zalamo) as it is in heaven. Give us (Zalamo) today our daily bread. Forgive us (Zalamo) our debts, as we (Zalamo) also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us (Zalamo) not into temptation, but deliver us (Zalamo) from the evil one" (Mathew 6:9-13).

Lord, we ask You, in Jesus' Name, to reveal Yourself to the Zalamo through dreams and visions. Give the Zalamo believers the courage to share Jesus with their own people.

Raise up prayer teams from among the youth groups to intercede for the Zalamo. May anointed prayer and witnessing bring forth a triumphant

Zalamo church. Call and send forth gospel messengers to the Zalamo. Graciously provide tools they need to better proclaim the message, such as: Bibles, tracts, the JESUS film and radio broadcasts.

For Yours is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen and amen!

Remember: PAUL’S FAITHFUL SERVICE

Memory verse: Revelation 2:10
"Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer...Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor's crown."

1. I will walk before the Lord faithfully.
2. God has expectations for my life. He can count on me.
3. The main thing God requires of me is obedience.

Pray for Zalamo believers to be faithful.
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Study 16 | Eternity—Apostle Paul | africaatts.org/go-teach

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