The council agrees to James’s recommendations regarding the Gentiles and sends a letter to the church in Antioch. Representatives from the church in Jerusalem, Judas and Silas, accompany Barnabas and Paul to Antioch. When the letter is read confirming that the Gentiles don’t have to be circumcised but should “abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality,” there is great rejoicing over its encouragement.
Some days after reading the letter, Paul and Barnabas get into a heated debate about whether or not to take Mark with them on their next missionary journey. This dispute causes Paul and Barnabas to separate, with Paul taking Silas to churches in Syria and Cilicia, and Barnabas taking Mark to churches in Cyprus. Therefore, the Lord uses this conflict to further the spread of the Good News by doubling their labor.
On Paul’s second missionary journey he meets Timothy, a young man well respected and full of faith because of the influence of his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois (2 Timothy 1:5). Timothy is not circumcised because his father is Greek but since his mother is Jewish, Timothy is considered Jewish. Therefore Paul has him circumcised before they begin their mission work together in order to not offend the Jews.
Later Paul receives a vision which leads him and his companions to the city Philippi in Macedonia. There they meet Lydia who, as well as her entire household, converts to Christianity after hearing Paul share the gospel. She then convinces Paul and his companions to stay at her home.
However, trouble soon arrises when Paul casts out of a slave girl a spirit that possessed her and gave her predictive power. Her masters, who were profiting off of her, are not too happy about losing their means to get rich. So they bring Paul and Silas before the magistrates who beat them and throw them in prison. But the Lord rescues them and the keeper of the prison and his entire family come to faith through the whole miraculous rescue.
Once released, they continue their mission work. In Thessalonica, Paul preaches Jesus Christ. “And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas. But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar…”
So Paul and Silas flee to Berea where they once again go into the synagogue and preach. “Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men. But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds.”
Now Paul is on the run again and goes to Athens. Keep reading.