““Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves. Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.”
Acts 28:28-31 NKJV
Acts 29, through to the end
I came to know Jesus at a magical time. The Christian world was all about the end times, looking forward to the return of Jesus. Everyone was abuzz about the rapture, that moment when those who have looked forward to His appearing would swept away to be with Jesus.
I was excited about the prospect of doing ministry in the end times, about going out and telling people about Jesus under great duress and threat of death. Reading the book of Acts was exciting to me, for the lives of those who served as our forerunners were an example to those who would be completing the work at the end.
We are in the season when we who are alive today, may witness the full circle of the Gospel, with those at the beginning watching Jesus ascend, and some of us seeing in glory just before He returns.
Reading the ending of the Book of Acts hit home for me, for there is no terminus to the story. We leave Paul, living under guard in a rented house, continually preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about Jesus unhindered. Though dark things loomed on the horizon, Paul went about the work with confidence and unhindered.
He pressed on. Even when he was facing twilight, he looked forward, not to the trouble to come, but to the coming glory. Paul looked forward to beyond the end of the race.
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
II Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV
We are facing trouble as we work our way to the end. We are in Acts twenty nine, and we are pressing on to the end of the Gospel journey. Every tract we pass out, every time go out and tell someone about Jesus, every time we share our testimonies, we are being written into that final record. There will be a moment when the last soul is saved.
Brothers and sisters, let us be mindful of that reality that we are likely the last generation to share the Gospel, for when the Lord returns, humanity will no longer come to Jesus by faith, but by sight.
Pray that we be able to go and tell unhindered, that we would approach every opportunity to tell of Jesus with great passion, making the most of it. Pray for a heart that is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to tell someone. Let us be lead by our hearts, hearts instructed by the word of God, and filled with love, as ambassadors of our loving Lord who desires all to be saved.
Let us also urge each others on to in the ministry, building up the weak, and encouraging those who lack the courage. It is all hands on deck, and we must be about the Father’s business.
Just as Paul encouraged Timothy, let us encourage each other, for the time is short. In the case of Paul, he was nearing the end of his own life. In our case, we are nearing the end of the age of the evangelizing church.
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
II Timothy 4:1-5 NKJV
Let us go forward unhindered. Let us put aside all those things that serve to distract us from our primary mission. We have been called to go into all the world to make disciples. Let us do so until we can no more.
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