Paul, Silas and Timothy Visit Churches: Acts 15:36-16:3
Scripture: Acts 15:36–16:3
After the decision from Jerusalem was delivered to the saints in Antioch, it was determined that there would be a trip to visit the saints in various cities. The term for “visit” is the same word used in Acts 15:14 for God visiting the Gentiles to bring forth a people for His name. We discuss the term, from which we get the English word episcopal, and point out that in Acts 20 the terms for shepherds, elders, and overseers (using this same term) are about the same people. This is not about church hierarchy, but about how God uses people to look after the saints. That is what the proposed trip was for. However, there was a dispute about Mark who Paul did not want to take along. We discuss how such decisions were made and that such problems were common even while the apostles were on the scene of history. This same Mark is likely the author of the Book of Mark. But at this point Paul was concerned about a previous incident. Barnabas took Mark with him to Cyprus instead. We also have a discussion about Genesis 8:21 and its relationship to God’s rule in history. This is a follow up to a discussion from some months ago about how God rules the world and through what means. We make applications to the present distress and lawlessness in our country.