Divine Directions: Negative & Positive | Acts 16:9-15 Sunday School Lesson [Slideshow+]

God Closes Doors, Opens Others

In this account, Paul and his companions are prevented from traveling to certain areas in Asia. Instead, through a dream, they are directed to the Roman colony, Philippi, in the region of Macdeonia. There, apparently, the Gospel is spread for the first time in Europe.

They meet Lydia, a God-fearing woman of some means. She becomes a believer and puts her faith into action.

This Sunday School lesson was first shared on 6.9.19. Below, please see the main points, video on modern-day Jesus dreams in the Muslim world, slideshow (w/ download), and bibliography.

Main Points

  • God can providentially close certain doors and open other doors – even supernaturally – for us to accomplish His purpose
  • God’s directing should be thought about carefully – likely with the counsel of others
  • “The Spirit’s interventions did not frustrate Paul’s strategy, but enhanced its effectiveness” (Bruce, 308)
  • We are commanded to preach the Gospel and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19-20, etc.); people are commanded to repent (Ac 17:30, etc.)
  • Yet, we must remember that God is in control
  • Genuine faith(fulness) produces faithful actions as a response to God’s grace

Video — Dreams of Jesus in the Muslim World: A Trend

This video is embedded in the fourth slide but will not play in the slideshow that is embedded below. I highly recommend the book by Tom Doyle, Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World?


To download this slideshow and any others, please visit the C4C DropBox.


  • Bruce, F. F. The Book of the Acts. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1988.
  • Keener, Craig S. Acts: An Exegetical Commentary: 15:1–23:35. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2014.
  • Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993.
  • Larkin, William J., Jr. Acts. Vol. 5. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Westmont, IL: IVP Academic, 1995.
  • Marshall, I. Howard. Acts: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 5. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1980.
  • Polhill, John B. Acts. Vol. 26. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992.
  • Stott, John R. W. The Message of Acts: The Spirit, the Church & the World. The Bible Speaks Today. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994.
  • Trites, Allison A., William J. Larkin. Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 12: The Gospel of Luke and Acts. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2006.
About @DannyScottonJr 455 Articles
Imperfect Servant ✝?⛪ | Husband | Princeton U. Alum | M. Div. | Assistant (to the) Pastor | Sound Doctrine & Apologetics @catchforchrist