8. Earthquake at midnight
The ship was docked at the pier. Paul and his friend Silas went on land to the town of Philippi.
At the marketplace and on the streets, they said again and again:
Paul: “God loves you. He sent His Son into the world. Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.”
Lydia believed this and gladly listened to the stories about Jesus. Others got upset and angrily cried:
Man: “They’re causing an uprising! We don’t want to hear this. Get them out of here!”
Stones flew. All of a sudden the whole crowd became rowdy against God’s messengers. Angry men tore Paul and Silas’ clothes and whipped them. Their backs were sore from the rods that hit them. They were thrown into a dark, damp jail where the prison warden put their hands and feet in stocks. Everything hurt, and their backs burned with pain.
In the Bible we read that the prisoners didn’t complain or ask, “Why did God let this happen to us?” Instead, they sang praise songs to God in the middle of the night. And then it happened: God helped them by sending a strong earthquake. Their chains fell off and the doors flew open.
The prison warden woke up because of the noise. His first thought was that the prisoners had all fled. He was afraid of his boss, so he wanted to die. He took his sword…
Paul: “Wait! Don’t hurt yourself. We’re all here.”
Really, no one had fled. Shaking, the prison guard fell at Paul’s feet.
Prison warden: “What do I need to do to be saved?”
Paul: “You don’t need to do anything. Jesus did everything for you. Believe this about Him and you’ll be saved.”
It was that simple. The prison warden believed and was changed. He didn’t hurt the prisoners anymore, but he gave them food to eat and put medicine on their wounds.
The next morning, the judge sent messengers to the prison warden and told him to set these two men free. And they came themselves and excused their bad behavior toward Paul and Silas. After this Paul and Silas traveled to many places and told many others:
Paul: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you’ll be saved and will have eternal life.”
People: Narrator, Paul, man, prison guard
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