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Journey in Greece, Turkey & Rome in the footsteps of Paul and visit six of the seven Churches of Revelation on this expedition with Calvary Chapel Palm City! Extend your expedition on an optional extension in Rome.
We depart from the church on a private coach bus which takes us to Miami airport (MIA). From Miami we fly overnight to Greece.
We arrive in Thessaloniki, where we meet our Christian Expedition Tour Director.
We head to Philippi, where we see the site where it is believed that Lydia’s heart was opened by God to the Gospel (Acts 16:14). We also see the likely site of Paul’s imprisonment in Philippi in Acts 16. It was here that Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns to God in spite of their imprisonment, and here that an earthquake shook the prison so that the doors flew open and the prisoners’ chains came loose, leading the jailer to contemplate suicide before famously asking Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (v. 30). We also see the Acropolis, Marketplace, Basilica and Theater before heading on to Neapolis. Neapolis, now called Kavala, is where Paul once landed with Timothy and Silas. We see Kavala’s Roman Aqueduct and Acropolis.
We tour Thessaloniki, where Paul preached and founded a Church to which he wrote the Epistles of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. We see sites like the old city walls, theater, and Roman market. We head to Berea (now called Veria), where Paul and Silas went after they caused a riot in Thessalonica (Acts 17). The Bereans were an example to all subsequent generations of Christians, in that they “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (v. 11). We see the location from which Paul preached to the Bereans. We head, then, to Kalambaka, and visit the Meteora Monasteries, perched high on rocky cliffs.
Overnight in Kalambaka/Meteora area
This morning we drive to the airport in Athens, and board an afternoon flight for Izmir, Turkey.
Today we visit two of the seven churches of Revelation 2-3. Revelation recounts that the Apostle John, while exiled on the island of Patmos, received a vision in which Jesus entrusted him with messages to seven churches in Asia Minor. These messages revealed that the struggles and successes of these ancient churches were similar to those of the church today. Jesus’ messages to them, therefore, are highly relevant to our current situation. We begin our day with a visit to Pergamum, where we see the Red Basilica which housed the 1st century church addressed by Jesus in Revelation. We will also visit Pergamum’s Acropolis, which was designed to imitate the one in Athens, and the Asclepeion Temple which was once dedicated to the Greek god of healing. This temple highlights the fact that Pergamum was a center of idolatry in the ancient world; Jesus in Revelation 2:13 refers to it as the home of “Satan’s seat.” We will then visit the site of ancient Smyrna, the site of another of the ancient churches.
This morning we visit Thyatira. Revelation indicates that the church at Thyatira had many good deeds, and much love, faith, and perseverance (Revelation 2:19), but that it tolerated “that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet” (Revelation 2:20, NIV). We move on to Sardis, another of the seven churches of Revelation. Ancient Sardis was known for the minting of coins and the dyeing of wool, but Jesus said to the church at Sardis, “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (3:1, NIV). Today at Sardis there is an archaeological site which includes the remains of Byzantine shops, a synagogue, a Roman villa, a Temple of Artemis, and a 4th century church. Finally, we visit Philadelphia, where we see the ruins of the city.
Today we visit Ephesus, the first church addressed by Jesus in Revelation 2. Paul reached, taught, and lived in Ephesus for an extended period of time (Acts 19:10). We see the archaeological site, including the house where it is believed that Mary, the mother of Jesus, lived towards the end of her life. We transfer to Izmir where we board our flight back to Athens.
This morning in Athens we take in some of the city’s great sites, like the Parthenon and Areopagus, where Paul famously preached in Acts 17. In the afternoon we visit Corinth. Paul arrived in Corinth in AD 50-51, and he likely wrote First Thessalonians and Romans from here. We will visit the archaeological site, which includes the Temple of Apollo, the Roman agora, the Bema courthouse (where Paul’s enemies brought him before Gallio, Acts 18:12), the pavement inscription of Erastus, the Roman Lechaion Road, and the lower Fountain of Peirene.
This morning we fly to Rome, where we visit the Colosseum and the Mamertine Prison. The Colosseum is the largest of the ancient amphitheaters and was completed in 80 AD. The Colosseum served as the site for the torture and martyrdom of countless early Christians, among them Ignatius of Antioch and Telemachus. The Mamertine Prison is believed to be the site of the imprisonments of both Peter and Paul, and the place where they both lived their last days. On the final night of our trip, we gather for our farewell banquet.
Today we transfer to the airport where we begin our journey home.
After breakfast we transfer to Vatican City, where we visit St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica. The basilica was completed in 1615 and houses Michelangelo’s Pietà. It is believed to be built on the site of Peter’s burial. In the afternoon we visit the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum houses exquisite art and archaeological collections and the Sistine Chapel is famous for its Michelangelo frescoes The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment. Tonight we have dinner together in Rome.
Overnight in Rome
Today we will experience iconic Roman sites including the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and the site of the Circus Maximus. We will also visit the Roman Forum, which contains the ruins of ancient Roman government buildings. The remainder of the day will be spent at leisure.
Overnight in Rome
After breakfast we will transfer to the airport where we will begin our journey home.