“And he [Paul] stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered” (Acts 28:30-31).
Thus concludes the Book of Acts.
Yesterday I preached the final sermon in our 18 month journey through the amazing history book of the early church. Our passage was Acts 28:17-31. We saw Five themes in the passage that actually serve as an excellent summary of the whole Book.
- The power of prayer.
- True fellowship.
- Human response to the Gospel and God’s sovereignty in it.
- The primacy of preaching.
- Jesus is the Savior and Fulfillment of the Old Testament.
It is very tempting, if we’re not careful, to get caught up in the dynamic characters of the early church. Peter and John. Phillip. And then there’s Paul. The last fifteen chapters of Acts chronicle Paul’s missionary adventures. And no doubt Paul was an amazing man of God. But that’s just it – he was only amazing because of God! It’s tempting to make too much of Peter or Paul. It’s our natural inclination to read Acts as if Paul is the hero or main character.
That’s why we focused our attention yesterday upon the grand truth that It’s all God’s Show, and God’s Show must Go On!
The Holy Spirit would not allow Luke to end the Book of Acts talking about Paul’s amazing life or martyrdom. No! It’s not about Paul. Rather, it’s about the Kingdom of God and His Christ! Oh, how we need to embrace this truth in our own lives. Our culture programs us to be so very self-centered. So me-driven. Oh how we need heavy doses of the Bible’s perspective. God help us center our lives on You!
The last word of the Greek text of Acts is akolutos. Translated in the NASB “unhindered.” I like “unchained!”
What is unchained? Paul? No! Paul’s literally in chains at the end of Acts. It’s the gospel of the kingdom that’s unchained. It’s the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that’s unhindered. God’s Gospel cannot be stopped! We called the whole sermon series in Acts “The Unstoppable Church.” But that’s only true so long as the church stays true to the Gospel Message that Holy God saves and forgives sinners only by the righteous life, the substitutionary death and the powerful resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
May we be given grace to renounce our selves and turn from our sins and trust wholly in Jesus alone. May God’s Gospel truly be unleashed among us. May we truly be able to say with Martin Luther:
“Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also, the body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever!”
The Book about the birth of the Church ends with its powerhouse Apostle in chains and the gospel unchained.
Think about it.