Intro. When Paul finally arrived in Rome, he called for the leaders of the Jewish community to meet with him.
I. THE PURPOSE OF THE MEETING WAS TO ASSURE THEM THAT HE WAS NOT THERE TO BRING ACCUSATIONS AGAINST THE JEWISH COMMUNITY.
A. They told Paul that they knew nothing about his situation but desired to know his opinion concerning this new sect.
1. Paul set a day for them to come to house where he was being kept under house arrest as he awaited his appearance before Caesar.
2. On the appointed day a many of them gathered to his lodging.
3. We read that he persuaded them concerning Jesus.
B. What a golden opportunity the Lord had given Paul to bear witness of Jesus in Rome.
1. Paul had the opportunity to share Jesus with the Jews in Jerusalem, now the words of Jesus to him are being fulfilled when the Lord said to him, "As you have born witness of Me in Jerusalem so must you bear witness of Me in Rome."
2. When Paul had earlier written his letter to the church in Rome he spoke of his desire to come to Rome that he might preach the gospel to those that were in Rome also, for he declared that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ for it was the power of God unto salvation to those that believed, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
3. This desire of Paul's is now being fulfilled.
4. No doubt this desire that Paul had to go to Rome was the Lord revealing Himself to Paul.
II. HOW DID HE SEEK TO PERSUADE THEM CONCERNING JESUS?
A. Right out of their own scriptures. Out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets.
1. I believe that one of the strongest proofs that Jesus was the Messiah was the many prophesies concerning the Messiah that He completely fulfilled.
2. There were over 300 predictions of the Messiah in the law and prophets that Jesus fulfilled.
3. From the scientific law of compound probabilities it is a mathematical impossibility that anyone could fulfill all of those requirements.
4. Just how many virgins do you suppose had sons born to them in Bethlehem?
5. Just how many men rode into Jerusalem on a donkey 483 years after the commandment was given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem on March 14th 445 B.C. claiming to be the Messiah?
6. How many men were betrayed by their friend for thirty pieces of silver, and the money was then thrown down in the temple only to be used to buy a potter's field?
B. Going through the scriptures he showed them how that Jesus had fulfilled all of things written of the Messiah.
1. This makes Jesus unique among all of the religious leaders in history.
2. Neither Confucius, Buddha, or Muhammad can make the claim that their coming was the fulfillment of scriptures.
3. Yet Jesus could say, "You do search the scriptures because in them you think that you have eternal life, but they testify of Me, but you will not come to Me that you might have eternal life."
C. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "The gospel that I preach, that Christ died according to the scriptures, that He was buried according to the scriptures, and that He rose the third day according to the scriptures."
1. Basically the gospel that Paul shared was that Jesus was the Messiah that was promised in their scriptures.
2. That Jesus is the One that all Israel was hoping for.
III. THE RESULT OF PAUL'S SHARING WAS THAT SOME BELIEVED AND SOME DID NOT.
A. This is always the case. Some in hearing the truth of the gospel believe and some do not.
1. They all heard the same message, were exposed to the same truth. Some received it some did not.
2. Some went away forgiven, some did not.
3. Some entered into eternal life, some did not.
4. But as many as received Him to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even as many as believed on His name.
B. It points out that believing is a matter of choice. Presented with the same evidence some chose to believe it some did not.
1. Jesus said that the seed which is the word of God falls on various types of soil.
2. Here is a farmer out broadcasting seed on the ground.
a. Right behind him are birds eating the seed that has been sown.
b. Some of the seed is falling on the rocky ground.
c. Some of it is falling among the thorns.
d. Some of it is falling on fertile soil.
3. The same message can have a variety of responses.
a. Some have closed their minds to the gospel.
b. Some have open hearts to receive.
c. The seed has the power to produce new life and to bear fruit. But such is always the case, some of it is wasted.
d. It is not the seed, but the type of soil upon which it falls that determines the results.
III. Why is it that some did not believe?
A. Paul again turns to the scriptures to find the answers.
1. God told the prophet Isaiah to go to the people and say hearing you will hear, but you will not understand, seeing you will see, and yet not perceive, for the hearts of the people are callused, their hearing is impaired, and they are blind.
2. John uses the same passage of scripture to explain how that after seeing the many miracles of Jesus there were still those who refused to believe that He was the Messiah.
B. Basically there are people whose minds are made up concerning Jesus and all of the evidence in the world could not persuade them differently.
1. They don't believe because they do not want to believe.
2. They refuse to hear the truth.
3. They refuse to see the truth.
4. They think that they know all of the facts and have made up their minds. They have formed their opinions and refuse consider honestly any further evidence.
a. They are the kind of people you do not want sitting on the jury if you are the defendant.
b. They cannot properly analyze the evidence for they have already determined your guilt, and no amount of evidence will persuade them to the contrary.
5. There are people who are very biased concerning Jesus, someone has given to them what they considered to be true information concerning the Bible and the gospel that has caused them to forever close the door to the truth.
C. Jesus tells us that there are those who do not believe because the message that He teaches of how we ought to live is too contrary to the way they want to live.
1. They are evil and they love the evil ways of the world.
2. They do not want to deny themselves, but on the contrary live for themselves only. Thinking only of their pleasure, not considering others.
3. Jesus said that we should love one another. They are filled with hate.
4. Jesus said that we were to forgive the wrongs that are done against us, they want to hold on to those wrongs.
5. Jesus said that we were to live pure lives, they love impurity.
6. To believe in Jesus would require a radical change in their style of living.
D. Why is it that you do not believe?
1. Is your heart callused?
2. Have you closed your mind on the issue? Sort of the "Don't confuse me with the facts, because my mind is made up."
3. I love living a life of sin.
E. No matter what the reason may be, you must face the fact that the only way into the kingdom of God is by believing in Him.