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Paul and Silas Start a Church in Thessalonica

17 After Paul and Silas had gone through the cities of Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to the city of Thessalonica. The Jews had a place of worship there. Paul went in as he always did. They gathered together each Day of Rest for three weeks and he taught them from the Holy Writings. He showed them that Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead. He said, “I preach this Jesus to you. He is the Christ.” Some of them put their trust in Christ and followed Paul and Silas. There were many Greek people and some leading women who honored God among those who had become Christians.

The Jews Make It Hard for Paul and Silas

The Jews who did not put their trust in Christ became jealous. They took along some sinful men from the center of town where people gather and brought them out on the street. These angry men started all the people in the city to cry out with loud voices. They went to the house of Jason hoping to find Paul and Silas there and bring them out to the people. But they did not find them there. Then they dragged Jason and some other Christians out in front of the leaders and cried out, “These men who have been making trouble over all the world have come here also. And Jason has taken them in. They say there is another King called Jesus. They are working against the laws made by Caesar.”

When the people and city leaders heard this, they were troubled. Then they made Jason and the others pay some money and let them go.

Paul and Silas Go to Berea

10 At once the Christians sent Paul and Silas away at night to the city of Berea. When they got there, they went to the Jewish place of worship. 11 These Jews were more willing to understand than those in the city of Thessalonica. They were very glad to hear the Word of God, and they looked into the Holy Writings to see if those things were true. 12 Many of them became Christians. Some of them were respected Greek women and men. 13 The Jews of Thessalonica heard that Paul was preaching the Word of God in Berea. They went there and worked against the missionaries by talking to the people. 14 At once the Christians sent Paul away to the sea-shore. But Silas and Timothy stayed there.

Paul Preaches on Mars’ Hill in Athens

15 Those who took Paul brought him to the city of Athens. Paul sent word with them that Silas and Timothy should come to him as soon as they could. Then they left. 16 While Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens, his spirit was troubled as he saw the whole city worshiping false gods. 17 He talked to the Jews and other people who were worshiping in the Jewish place of worship. Every day he talked with people who gathered in the center of town.

18 Some men from two different groups were arguing with Paul. The one group thought that men might as well get all the fun out of life that they can. The other group thought that wisdom alone makes men happy. Some of them said, “This man has lots of little things to talk about. They are not important. What is he trying to say?” Others said, “He preaches about strange gods.” It was because he preached of Jesus and of His being raised from the dead.

19 Then they took him to Mars’ Hill and said, “We want to hear of this new teaching of yours. 20 Some of the things you are telling us are strange to our ears. We want to know what these things mean.” 21 The people of Athens and those visiting from far countries used all their time in talking or hearing some new thing. 22 Then Paul stood up on Mars’ Hill and said, “Men of Athens, I see how very religious you are in every way. 23 As I was walking around and looking at the things you worship, I found an altar where you worship with the words written on it, TO THE GOD WHO IS NOT KNOWN. You are worshiping Him without knowing Him. He is the One I will tell you about.

24 “The God Who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth. He does not live in buildings made by hands. 25 No one needs to care for Him as if He needed anything. He is the One who gives life and breath and everything to everyone. 26 He made from one blood all nations who live on the earth. He set the times and places where they should live.

27 “They were to look for God. Then they might feel after Him and find Him because He is not far from each one of us. 28 It is in Him that we live and move and keep on living. Some of your own men have written, ‘We are God’s children.’ 29 If we are God’s children, we should not think of Him as being like gold or silver or stone. Such gods made of gold or silver or stone are planned by men and are made by them.

30 “God did not remember these times when people did not know better. But now He tells all men everywhere to be sorry for their sins and to turn from them. 31 He has set a day when He will say in the right way if the people of the world are guilty. This will be done by Jesus Christ, the One He has chosen. God has proven this to all men by raising Jesus Christ from the dead.”

32 Some people laughed and made fun when they heard Paul speak of Christ being raised from the dead. Others said, “We want to listen to you again about this.” 33 So Paul went away from the people. 34 Some people followed him and became Christians. One was Dionysius, a leader in the city. A woman named Damaris believed. And there were others also.

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