There are forces of nature that cannot be stopped like an avalanche, a tsunami or dust storm. There is nothing you can do to prevent these from happening. Sometimes life brings things that are unstoppable like death or suffering or pain, but not everything that is unstoppable is evil or bad.
Unstoppable is the word that comes to mind when you look at the early days of the church. Conflict and controversy threatened to wipe out the young group of disciples, religious leaders tried to muzzle their message, governments and cultures attempted to contain them, demonic forces and world powers tried to oppress them, shipwrecks and snakes sought to slow them down, persecutors intensely tried to beat, bully, imprison and kill them, but instead of killing the fledgling church it fueled a wildfire that swept across the first-century landscape. Nothing stops God and his mission. He’s unstoppable. We read about this in the book of Acts.
AUTHOR OF ACTS
The Book of Acts was written by Luke, who also wrote one of the four Gospels. Luke was “the beloved doctor” and missionary. Luke didn’t just record history; he lived it. What is obvious from his Gospel is that Luke spent a lot of time with Jesus. He ate with him, walked Israel’s countryside with him, saw him heal, heard him teach, witnessed his death, resurrection and ascension. Luke clearly showed us Jesus in living color.
PURPOSE OF ACTS
Luke’s aim was to write clearly and accurately about Jesus (cf. Luke 1:1-4). Just as Luke spent a lot of time with Jesus, what is obvious from the Book of Acts is that he also spent a lot of time with the Peter and Paul. Luke accompanied Paul on many of his journeys, he had firsthand interviews from the people and events he wrote about (much in the 1st Person). Luke was deeply loved by Paul and was with him in his final days.
Aren’t you grateful Luke’s words are preserved for us today? Aren’t you glad for brilliant and methodical minds like Luke who help us to have history with such accuracy?
AUDIENCE FOR ACTS
Luke writes both the Gospel and the Book of Acts to Theophilus. We don’t know a lot about him other than this name means “one who God loves.” There a variety of opinions that Theophilus was a distinguished friend or that Luke was referring to himself by a pseudo-name or that Luke was referring to followers of Jesus in general. He remains a mystery.
The Book of Acts is the historical sequel to the Gospel of Luke (like LOTR to The Hobbit). Part One was the Gospel in which Luke describes Jesus’ birth, earthly ministry, teachings, miracles, death and resurrection. Part Two was Acts in which Luke describes the unstoppable expansion of the the gospel message of Jesus throughout the world.
KEY VERSE OF ACTS
THEMES IN ACTS FROM VERSE EIGHT
First, Jesus continues to be the theme, but now in Acts Jesus will ascend and his Spirit will be at work in the church and Jesus’ followers.
Second, the Gospel—Good News of Jesus—is for all people. The gospel is for every man, woman, and child on the face of this earth. That is great news! This was earth shaking news! Throughout the Book of Acts we see how the Gospel Spreads throughout Jerusalem (Ch.1-7) to Judea and Samaria (Ch.8-12) to the Ends of the Earth (Ch.13-28)
Third, all of Jesus’ followers are his witnesses, empowered and enlivened to bring the message of Jesus throughout the earth. This is a large part of Jesus’ mission. Mission is not just missionaries reaching tribes and unreached peoples, but it is every follower empowered, engaging and advancing the gospel to every corner, cubical, campus, city, country and continent of the planet. It is something we all are a part. We are all invited.
if you are a Christian you are a part of this unstoppable avalanche of the gospel and tsunami of the Holy Spirit. Beginning with the apostles in Acts and continuing with us here and now, today.
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