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Lesbos

Mitylene was a major city of the Aegean Sea island of Lesbos. The apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry), during his third missionary journey (see the Fact Finder question below), arrived at Mitylene on his return voyage from Corinth to Judea (see also Bible Places and Bible Maps). Although Mitylene is not well known to most people in today's world, a term that originated from the island is - the homosexual expression lesbian was derived from the island of Lesbos.

"for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature"

Paul later wrote of what happens when people forsake The Creator and live according to a nature "which is against nature":

Paul's Third Missionary Journey

"Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the Truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet." (Romans 1:24-26 KJV)

Paul was in some ways a fatalist. He knew that he was headed for trouble, not because he wanted it, but because he lived in a perverted world that, far more often than not, hated God's Word - a world that still, far more often than not, hates God's Word. Ironically however, his courage was based on fear, not a fear of any man, or woman, but a righteous fear of Almighty God.

On more than one occasion, Paul chose to face raving mobs that wanted to tear him to shreds for telling them the Truth, rather than face an Angry God for failing to do his duty. Paul's choice was clear, "none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God." (below)

"And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot. And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene. And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus. For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost."

"And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."

"And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit [see Christianos] unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God." (Acts 20:13-24 KJV)

Fact Finder: Where did the apostle Paul travel during each of his 3 major missionary journeys?
See Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey


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