Story Thirty-One

WORSHIP IN CHAINS

WORSHIP IN CHAINS


WORSHIP AT MIDNIGHT

For many years, Paul went from place to place. He told people about Jesus so that people would believe. Then the church could grow in those places. One day, Paul and his friend Silas came to a place named Philippi.

And, as they went along, a slave girl started following them. She had an evil spirit in her. The evil spirit helped her tell people what was going to happen to them. She earned a lot of money for her owners by doing this.

For many days, she followed Paul and Silas and kept shouting, “These men are servants of God.  And they are telling you how to be saved!”  After a while, Paul became annoyed. So he said to the evil spirit, “In the name of Jesus, come out of her.” And the evil spirit left her.

When her masters saw this, they were not pleased. They knew that they would not be able to make money from the girl any more. So they dragged Paul and Silas to the authorities. They said, “These men are teaching people to do things that are against our customs.”

Then a crowd gathered against Paul and Silas. So the authorities took their clothes. And they beat them in front of everyone.  They put them in prison. And they told the man who kept the prison, “Make sure these men do not escape.”  So he chained them and put them in the deepest part of the prison.

That night, at about midnight, Paul and Silas were praising God and singing songs to him. Just then, the ground began to shake.  And all the doors in the prison flew open. And all the chains fell off the men inside.

When the man who kept the prison saw the doors open, he thought all the people inside had escaped. So he was going to kill himself.

But Paul said, “Do not hurt yourself. We are all here.”

So the man ran in and he fell down at their feet. Then he brought them out and said, “What do I need to do to be saved?”

And they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you and everyone in your house will be saved.” Then they told the man and everyone in his house about Jesus. So the man washed their cuts. And Paul and Silas baptized the man and his whole family. And they were all filled with joy. Then they went into the man’s house and ate together.

The next morning, Paul and Silas left the prison. They stayed in Philippi for a while. They encouraged the people who believed in Jesus there. Then they left the city. They had many other places that they wanted to go to share the news about Jesus.