The Story of His Church List

Paul Reaches Rome

When spring came Julius, the Roman captain, had his soldiers take their prisoners aboard a ship bound for Italy. The islanders came to see them off. They brought gifts for the Christian men who had taught them about the Lord. How thankful they were for Paul and his friends!

The boat docked at the Italian city Puteoli. Here all the passengers left 

the ship. Those going to Rome had to go the rest of the way by land. Before going on to Rome, the Roman captain let Paul and his friends spend a week with the Christians in Puteoli.

Then they started their trip on foot over the great highway to Rome. As Paul trudged along the road, his heart was heavy. Perhaps he was afraid he would not have many opportunities to preach the gospel in Rome, since he was a prisoner. Perhaps he was afraid the people would not listen to a preacher who wore a heavy chain.

Paul's discouragement was soon turned to joy. When Paul's company was forty miles from Rome, Christians came from the city to welcome him. At once he took courage and thanked God. Now he knew he would have true friends in this strange city. Ten miles farther on another group of Christians from Rome welcomed Paul.

In Rome Julius turned his prisoners over to the captain of the guard. Julius must have tried to get the captain to treat Paul as well as possible, for Paul was allowed to rent a house of his own and live by himself. Of course he was always chained to a soldier. Julius did not have the authority to do anything about that.

Paul had been in Rome only three days when he sent for the chief Jews. He told them how the Jews in Jerusalem had accused him and caused his imprisonment. He explained how this had happened.

The Jews at Rome were greatly surprised, for they had heard nothing about this trouble. Eagerly they asked Paul to preach to them about Jesus Christ. They had heard much about the Christians, but they did not know what the Christians believed.

With glad heart Paul preached to them. He told how Jesus came to earth, suffered, died on the cross for the sins of men, and rose from the dead.

The Jews listened carefully. Some believed and rejoiced that God had sent his Son to be their Savior. Others resented Paul's preaching and refused to believe.

When Paul saw that many did not believe that Jesus was the Savior, he said, "It is just as Isaiah said by the power of the Holy Spirit, The heart of this people has grown hard, and their ears will not hear my words.' But the Gentiles," said Paul, "will hear and believe the salvation that God has sent to all men."

For two years Paul lived in his own house in Rome. First one soldier and then another was chained to him. Not only did Paul preach to his guards but to all who came to see him. He taught many people about Jesus.

During this time he wrote letters to the Christians in the cities where he had preached. Some of these letters are in our Bibles. They are called epistles.

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