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The Gospel Cannot Be Hindered

26 Jun

Luke ends his thesis in Acts 28:30-31, showing Paul in his rented house welcoming all—Jews or gentiles—who would come to him, and there he preached the Kingdom of God and those things that concerned the Lord, Jesus Christ, with no one forbidding him. Luke shows us that Paul did this for at least two years, and afterward nothing more is written about Paul or anything further about any of the acts of the Apostles. This, I believe, is meant to be the end of Luke’s thesis. It is not an accident than nothing further is written. Acts has a real ending, and it ends here.

Luke offers his 6th and final progress report in Acts 28:30-31, saying that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God continued to go out to all who would listen with an open heart. Paul was a prisoner, but the Gospel wasn’t hindered. The Jews rejected the Gospel, but the word of God was preached in spite of this problem. And, this seems to be Luke’s point throughout his thesis as he offers each progress report.

Immediately after the separation of the Hellenist Messianic believers from the main body of believers in Acts 6:6, Luke gave his first progress report, showing that even in disagreement, the church increased. The will of God will not be hampered through disagreement. Then again, immediately following the first persecution of believers, Luke tells us that all the churches of God walked in fear of the Lord and were edified and multiplied (Acts 9:31). Thus, we find out in Luke’s second progress report that man cannot hinder the Gospel through threats and persecution.

Then, when circumcision became an issue as the gentiles were being brought into the believing community, Luke tells us in his third progress report that the second outbreak of persecution, involving the political head of state, was still unable to hinder the Gospel. The churches of God were multiplied (Acts 12:24-25). The kings of this world have no power to hinder the will of the one who is King of kings, and Lord of lords. Additionally, concerning the same issue of circumcision, Luke shows us in his fourth progress report that even if the church of God is infiltrated by enemies who had sought to encumber the Gospel, even that would fail, and God’s will to reach the nations would be fulfilled (Acts 16:4-6).

Next, Luke shows us in Acts 19:17-20 that paganism cannot hinder the will of God. Gentiles don’t have to become Jews in order to express their good will to the Jewish nation. Paul proved this when he brought the great gentile offering to the poor in Jerusalem from the churches in Europe, Galatia and Asia. The gentiles will hear and understand (cp. Acts 28:28). They will become the brethren of the Jews, sharing their wealth with them, no longer seeking to destroy them or rule them.

Finally, Paul’s quote from Isaiah 6:9-10 shows that the Jews as a whole heard the Gospel, but they didn’t take it to heart. That is, they heard, but they didn’t really listen—embrace what they heard. But neither would this hinder God’s will. Even if the chosen refuse to preach the Gospel, the Gospel will be preached. In other words, the commission of Isaiah 49:3, 6 that was meant for the Jews to carry to the nations would, indeed, be carried out, but by the gentiles themselves, and the remnant of the Jews that God would call (Acts 28:28).

 

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2 Comments

Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God, Paul in bonds

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “The Gospel Cannot Be Hindered

  1. Lawrence Johnson

    June 28, 2013 at 15:04

    Eddie,

    Can you tell me who was the Roman Ruler over the area where Stephan was martyred? He was in the area of Caesarea when he was martyred, I believe. Thanks

    Sent from my iPhone

     
    • Eddie

      June 28, 2013 at 15:27

      Pilate was still the local Roman governor, and his seat of authority was in Caesarea.

       

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