Paul Starts His Travels, The Expansion of the Church into Europe, A History of the Christian Church, Lesson 14, 1-5

The story of the church up to this time in our study of the young Christian Church has had its setting in Asia. True, it was the western most part of Asia, but the people it was concerned with were of an Asian nature, not only physically, but also in their religion. After Paul’s first missionary journey, he went back to Jerusalem to the Council meeting that we discussed previously, in which  the conclusion was arrived at that one did not have to become a Jew in order to become a Christian. We might think from the previous lesson that everything was ended in peace and loving kindness when the Council broke up. However, we know that the Judaizers were still full of hatred toward Paul. But Paul had carried his point and was free to continue his evangelizing among the Gentiles.

This Council meeting was probably held in 50 AD, and not long after it, Paul proposed to Barnabas a second missionary journey. Paul was unwilling that John Mark should go with them because John Mark had deserted them on their first missionary journey and returned home before the journey was complete. However, John Mark was kin to Barnabas, and Barnabas made excuses for the young John Mark and insisted that he be given a second chance.

Silas and Paul first visited the churches they had already established in Syria and Cilicia and then passed north through the Taurus Mountains to the churches that had been founded on Paul’s first missionary journey. They came first to Derbe and then to Lystra. At Lystra, Paul decided to take Timothy with him. Timothy was the son of a Jewish mother and a Greek father, and no doubt had received instruction of the Jewish faith from his mother, and had been converted at the previous visit of Paul. Paul liked the young man and wanted to take him with Paul and Silas.

There is some dispute as to just where Paul went after he left Lystra, but the common view is that he went Northeast into Galatia, and while on the way, Paul fell sick. Even though Paul was sick, he took advantage of the opportunity to preach and founded the churches in Galatia. It is believed that prior to Paul’s visit to Galatia, he had attempted to turn into Asia to preach and had been turned back by the Holy Spirit. Again after Paul’s sickness, he again tried to turn northeast into Asia, and again the Holy Spirit turned him back into Europe. You probably remember that on one occasion Paul dreamed that someone stood in Macedonia, which is in Greece, and said, “Come over and help us.”

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