The Gospel Unchained

Imagine this scene. Paul and Silas have been led by God to conduct strategic invasion of Macedonia. This was enemy territory, it was a “stronghold” of Satan (2 Corinthians 10:4), and within that region many victims were held captive. In a vision Paul saw a man crying out, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!”.

Although it caused them to change their plans Paul and Silas sailed across the Aegean Sea, to Neapolis and arrived only a few days later in Philippi one of the chief cities in that region. There they encountered a slave girl who had a spirit which allowed her to tell fortunes. Her masters made serious money from her demonic skills. But when she encountered Paul and his companions something compelled her to follow them crying out that they were “servants of the most high God, to proclaim the way of salvation.” Eventually Paul simply cast the demon from this girl which landed him a bunch of hot water with the influential leaders of that city.

A counter-attack came quickly. Paul and Silas were dragged before the magistrates. They ripped off their clothes and beat them with rods. These rods tore the skin, raised welts and bruises and sometimes broke ribs. Then Paul and Silas were put in the deepest part of the prison—no doubt damp, cold and rat-infested. And to increase security and misery their feet were put in stocks.

How would you react in such a situation? The legendary story that follows has inspired and encouraged generations of Christians to follow Christ wherever He leads with radical faith.

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