The Three Missionary Trips of Paul

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Throughout the book of Acts we read of a man who notoriously persecuted Christians; being present at Stephens death, however would become in a way one of the greatest of Christians. Luke captures the three mission trips of this great man in the book of Acts starting in the 13th chapter. In a recent conversation with a close friend of mine we spent a brief time dedicated to talking on missions. Both my friend and I have both been on short mission trips out of the country; when I brought up the idea that I might travel on and pursue another trip. He said to me "I think everybody has a heart for missions, but very few people dedicate themselves and actually devote themselves to doing it." After thinking about it, missions today is nothing compared to that of Paul's time. In order to plan a mission trip, Paul must have been extremely dedicated and must have had a passion for what he wanted to see done. Not saying that missions of today are an easy task, however what better way to try to understand Paul's dedication through studying his three mission journeys.

The first missionary trip of Paul took place in the area of AD 45-49. At this time Paul is abiding in the capital of the Roman province, Antioch. Antioch lays just over three hundred miles to the north of Jerusalem and is quite a large city at the time Paul resides there (Arnold 404). In the first century many Jews made their home in Antioch, and some of them along with many non-Jews became the founding fathers of a Christian church (or churches) there. The church in Antioch was started shortly after Stephen's death by men persecuted in Jerusalem (Elwell 239). Barnabus and then later Paul would assume the leadership of the Antioch church (Carson 226). After a season of prayer around AD 47 the Holy Ghost led Barnabas and Paul out on a preaching and church planting mission trip (Elwell 239). After the church of Antioch laid hands on Paul on Barnabas in prayer, they were sent off (Acts 13:3).

From the church...
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