Chapter 16:31 records the simplest Gospel message that can ever be preached to mankind. The setting was in a Philippian jail where Paul and Silas were being held prisoners. The time was Midnight, when there was suddenly a great earthquake. The foundation of the prison was shaken, and the doors were opened. The keeper of the prison was awakened from sleep and was about to kill himself, for he was afraid the prisoners had escaped. Paul called to him and told him not to harm himself. Then Paul and Silas presented the simple message of salvation to the jailer.

That simple message still rings down through the ages, and is just as effective and powerful today as it was the night of the great earthquake. That message is, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Why is this message so simple? Why is salvation so simple? Because Christ has paid the penalty for sin. He is the complete and final payment; and, when a person who has never believed in Christ--whether it be a Philippian jailer, a drunkard, a harlot, or a good moral man--takes that step of faith, he becomes a part of God's family, for now and throughout the ages of eternity.

In chapter 17 Paul is on his second missionary journey and visits three different cities. Each of them had a different reaction to the Gospel. In Thessalonica, a busy city on the main road to Rome, some Jews believed; many Greeks believed, many of the chief women believed; but there was opposition to the Word. In Berea, which was 40 miles from Thessalonica, the Word was gladly received. In Athens, which was a very proud and independent city whose god was nature, the Word was mocked. Unfortunately, these same three attitudes toward the Gospel still exist today. Some openly oppose the Word, some mock the Word, and some do believe and receive the Word. We, as Christians, cannot control the results as we give out the Word, but we should follow Paul's example and be faithful servants. In Galatians 6:9 we have this promise: "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.".

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