Paul’s Trip to Rome – His 4th Missionary Journey?

Bible Studies, The Book of Acts
Paul's-trip-to-Rome

Three Reasons Paul’s Trip to Rome is Important

Many Christians and Bible scholars disagree that the trip from Caesarea to Rome was Apostle Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey.

Nevertheless, I shall propose three reasons Paul’s trip to Rome constitutes his fourth missionary expedition.

This is the only fourth missionary journey the Bible describes; it labels this trip similar to previous trips; and I shall explain the main reason this voyage was a missionary excursion.

Paul’s Trip to Rome the Only Biblical 4th Expedition of this Apostle

Since the Bible doesn’t chart any other journeys of Paul, then I propose none.

The back-story first.

While Apostle Paul was a prisoner in Caesarea, he made an unusual request of Governor Festus.

He wanted audience with Augustus Caesar.

Nevertheless, he kept him prisoner still for some time at Caesarea, but now it was time to send him to Rome.

However, while Apostle Paul was transported from Israel to Italy he had a unique experience.

The Lord instructed him concerning his present and future situation.

So, Paul received, believed, and acted on that word from God.

Has the Lord spoken to you? And did you know that it was he that speak and did you believe him?

And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus’ band” (Acts 27:1).

Features of Paul’s Missionary Expeditions

Anytime the Lord God instructs us He will always make provisions for us to obey His instructions.

He did that for Apostle Paul.

Paul’s trip to Rome was indeed his fourth missionary journey.

It doesn’t explicitly say it that way but it describes it consistently with his other journeys.

  • We always know of his destination beforehand. Long before he started his Fourth Missionary Journey, we knew that he had plans to go to Rome (Acts 19:21).
  • The Bible also makes us aware beforehand of the reason for his imminent trip (Acts 9:15).
  • The author who described all his previous journeys described the fourth trip too.

Paul’s Journey – Jerusalem to Rome?

Consequently, the same author who wrote about all Paul’s other trips also described Paul’s trip to Rome.

First, Luke informs us where they started the Fourth Missionary Journey. They sailed from Caesarea. He was a prisoner of Governor Festus in that city.

Then, he tells us their destination, Italy. But the next verse gives us a situational setting. It tells us where they were relative to other known places.

Additionally, it tells us of the people who were on Paul’s trip to Rome. On his fourth missionary voyage.

And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us” (Acts 27:2).

The next observation should also assist to validate Paul’s trip to Rome as his Fourth Missionary Voyage.  It’s the deliberate itemization of each port in Luke’s account of the trip.

This charts a path. It provides direction and it supplies a timeline.

Paul's-trip-to-Rome
How Long did Paul’s Journey to Rome last?

Dr. Luke Supplies Timeline of Paul’s Journey to Rome

The beloved physician, Dr. Luke, described all the other missionary journeys similarly.

For example, “And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself” (Acts 27:3).

Here Luke informs us of an exact location for they made port “at Sidon”.

Next, verse four reveals his direction and location.

And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary” (Acts 27:4).

Therefore, we observe that each verse charts a path along Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey to Rome.

Apostle Luke describes Paul’s three other Missionary Journeys in a similar manner.

Therefore, see his First, his Second, and Third Missionary Journeys!

Paul’s Fourth Missionary Trip According to the Bible

This is indeed Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey according to the Bible and not by scholars, commentaries, and conjectures.

When we speak of God helping us, many people are expecting that He’s going to come down from heaven to assist us.

But God works through people. Observe how He operates through Julius as He assists Paul.

Julius didn’t have to afford Apostle Paul such liberties. There were “other prisoners” on board the ship, but we read of none but Paul receiving such favors from him (Acts 27:1).

If Paul wanted, he could have escaped. However, he didn’t! God touched Julius’ heart; therefore, he was very kind to Paul.

And always remember, our best efforts don’t impact the will of God.

Note what is happening here! Because of a contrary wind they altered their route, for they sailed below Cyprus instead of above it.

Why Was Paul’s Trip to Rome His 4th Missionary Journey?

So, we are aware that the Holy Bible does not supply another voyage of Paul that we could accurately describe as his fourth missionary ride.

And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia” (Acts 27:5).

Similarly, we know that Apostle Luke described this voyage like he did all the others.

Nevertheless, what is the most significant reason this trip was Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey?

In other words, what made this expedition a missionary one?

And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein” (Acts 27:6).

While he was at Ephesus, he desired to visit Rome, (Acts 19:21).

But this wasn’t his idea. The Lord Jesus placed this thought into him.

We see this clearer later in the Book of Acts, (Acts 23:11).

Then, the Lord Jesus expressly told Paul that he must preach to Caesar.

As always, he spoke through His chosen vesssel but this time He used an angel.

Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee” (Acts 27:24).

Paul’s Journey to Rome Wasn’t an Option

Why “must” Paul “be brought before Caesar”? This wasn’t optional for him.

Just as it wasn’t optional for Jonah regarding the Ninevites!

Because he (like Jonah) must do and accomplish the will of God.

Let’s recall what the Lord Jesus wanted Apostle Paul to do, and again He spoke through a chosen vessel, Ananias (Acts 9:6).

This was Apostle Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey because the Lord God had sent him to Rome.

The Lord saved him for this purpose. He was to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to Gentiles, kings, and the Jews (Acts 9:15).

He had the qualifications and experience. The Lord God chose him.

Therefore, all that Apostle Paul encountered, experienced, and endured were in the will of God for him. They prepared him for this journey.

And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone;” (Acts 27:7-25).

Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island” (Acts 27:26).

Conclusion

What are the Sources of Our Thoughts?

Many Christians don’t know this, but our thoughts originate from three sources.

They come to us through our spirits, the Devil, or the Lord God.

Our task then is to correctly identify and determine the source of all our thoughts.

Initially, Paul had a thought of going to Rome. But the Lord Jesus Christ placed that idea into him. It didn’t originate from him.

However, because the notion came to him through his mind, he accepted and embraced it.

Additionally, because Apostle Paul was a born-again Believer of Jesus Christ, his spirit was joined to the Holy Ghost.

They were one. This was how the Lord placed the idea into him, through his spirit.

Later, he embraced it and made it personal. He made it his own!

Consequently, this motivated him to go.

We are cognizant that this is true because at least two other Scriptures verified this idea.

What was the Main Reason for Paul’s Trip to Rome?

In closing, this journey from Caesarea to Rome is the only biblical fourth missionary journey of Apostle Paul.

We don’t need to guess about it. For there is no other biblical start date, destination, journey, or map besides this one that Dr. Luke provides.

We don’t need any theories on this. We just need the Word of God.

Additionally, the same author who described all Paul’s other expeditions told us about this one.

Then, Dr. Luke explained the fourth expedition of Paul, similar if not identical to all the others, to convince us of its authenticity.

Finally, Paul’s trip to Rome was for one person. One leader, Caesar!

Therefore, we conclude that the main reason Paul’s trip to Rome was his fourth missionary journey because it was to evangelize Augustus Caesar, the king.

Don’t we know that our leaders determine the spiritual direction of our country?

What is Our Leader Releasing?

They determine, as a whole, whether the country moves toward or away from God. Many Christians are ignorant of this but our leaders either unleash demons or angels on our countries respectively.

There is no other record in history of Augustus Caesar having heard the gospel of Jesus Christ except the one that Apostle Paul preached to him at Rome.

Similar to the king, none of us will have any excuses that we never heard about Jesus Christ.

He is the only begotten Son of God. The only savior of the world. This, every human being knows because each of us heard it.  

Whether we are living or dead for Jesus Christ preached that message to all.

My last words on this today. Do you want to know more about this and how God speaks to us?

Do you desire to learn how to accurately identify where your thoughts originate from every time?

If your answer is yes, then you should read “Living Soul”.

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