Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. Jesus’ followers found that out! Many of His followers were put into jail or even worse just for telling others about Him! But no matter what happened to Jesus’ followers, nothing could stop them from telling others about Jesus and His great love for everyone in the world!
Paul and Silas were “apostles”. Apostles were men called to preach to others about Jesus. They went from city to city telling everyone that Jesus is God’s Son and that He died for them and rose again so that their sins could be taken away. This was such good news! And they called this good news “the gospel”.
One day, Paul had a vision from God (a vision is like having a dream while you’re awake). In the vision, there was a man from Macedonia (that’s a big word!) who was asking Paul to please come to his city and tell them about Jesus. Paul knew this vision was from God and God was telling him to go there. So Paul and Silas went to Macedonia.
While they were preaching in Macedonia, many people listened and believed what they said, but some people didn’t like them. They didn’t want to hear the gospel. They wanted Paul and Silas thrown out of town! These unbelievers took Paul and Silas to the Roman police and said that they were causing trouble in the city.
The Roman judges believed what the unbelieving people said and they had Paul and Silas beaten with heavy sticks and thrown into prison! But what do you think Paul and Silas did in prison? Instead of being sad or angry or mad, they prayed and sang praise songs to Jesus! Even at midnight, after being beaten, they were still singing! All of the other prisoners listened as they sang to the Lord. The prison guard could hear them singing, too. I’m sure he thought that was strange.
Suddenly, as Paul and Silas were singing, there was a great earthquake! It shook the prison so hard that all of the prison doors flew open! And all of the prisoners’ chains fell off of their hands and feet!
The guard saw that all of the prison doors were opened. He knew that if all of the prisoners escaped, he would be put to death! But Paul said, “Wait! It’s okay! We are all still here!”
The prison guard couldn’t believe it. These men could have escaped but instead, they stayed so that he wouldn’t get into trouble! The prison guard had tears in his eyes and said to Paul, “Sir, what do I have to do to be saved?”
Paul and Silas were so happy to share the gospel with the guard. “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved!” The prison guard did believe and he felt peace in his heart for the first time in his life! He couldn’t wait to tell his family! He invited Paul and Silas to his house so they could tell his family about Jesus, too.
Paul and Silas went to the prison guard’s house where he bandaged up their wounds and gave them food to eat. Paul and Silas shared the gospel with his whole family and they all believed in Jesus and were saved. That very night, Paul and Silas baptized the prison guard and his entire family.
Paul and Silas were not mad about being beaten and thrown into prison for sharing the gospel. They knew that God would take care of them. That’s why even in prison, their hearts wanted to sing praise to God! And when God heard their songs, He delivered them! He also used Paul and Silas to share the gospel with the prison guard so that he and his family could be saved!