Friday, October 17, 2014

The Last Chapter of the Book of Acts

Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. Acts 28:28

Like a little boy getting his first haircut, the book of Acts just won't sit still. Of course, it is filled with action. We are all familiar with Paul's ministry, ship wreck, beatings and imprisonments. It can be looked at as an action-filled adventure story, and it is. But what we may miss is its story of rapidly changing and developing theology.

When a pope seems to struggle with the question of "Who killed Jesus", and exonerates the Jews, Peter tells them (Acts 2:23) that they are responsible. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is given and explained, though many people still misunderstand it. So while the birth of the church and the preaching of the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles is shown throughout Acts, why do I emphasize the last chapter?

Because it is there that a great transition occurs. The once mostly Jewish church becomes Gentile. Paul argues with the Jews and says, in effect, you have had your chance and blew it. This from one who totally loves Israel. It is both dramatic and sad.

At the first church council in chapter fifteen, Jews were dominant. Finally though, the break is made. Anyone of the elect can come into the church, but when they attend a church breakfast, they can eat bacon.

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