Acts 28:15-31

Sometimes the best part of a movie is the final scene. In fact, the final scene of a film can make or break it, and, in the best films, the final scene usually makes it. And what about the final scene of this guy’s story: the Apostle Paul? When the camera fades to black here at the end of Acts 28, what is Paul doing? What is our final vision of the great missionary hero in Acts? Acts 28:17-31 offers us the final scene, and it too caps off a great story! In the final scene, we see Paul taking the initiative to create opportunities to tell people about Jesus. One thing that must be said about the final scene of Acts is that it presents us nothing new, nothing startling, no great plot twist. In fact, the final scene of this great book shows Paul doing exactly Paul had always done since meeting Jesus on the Damascus Road. When the camera fades to black on Paul in the book of Acts, he is sitting in his living room beseeching the Jewish religious leaders to trust in Christ! When the camera fades to black on you and me, what will it show? I would also like to remind all of us that our church is here today because Christians in the past took their responsibility to share the gospel seriously. They, like Paul, took the initiative to reach out to a lost and dying world. We are therefore the beneficiaries of the boldness of our forefathers and foremothers. We are here because way back then somebody said, “I will not wait. I will go. I will speak of Jesus. I will spread the gospel. Everybody must know, and I must make sure they do!” In the final scene, we see Paul looking for the gospel to advance further and further into the world. In the final scene, we see Paul being consistent and bold on behalf of the Kingdom of God. Here are Luke’s closing words: 30 He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. Why not end this book of Acts with Paul’s death? Is it not because Luke is saying something about the continuation of the book of Acts in and through the Church today? Is he not saying that the story of the Church does not end with the death of a champion, it continues in the lives of numerous heroes of the gospel today? The book of Acts continues now in you! It is your story, our story! It does not end with the death of Paul because the Church today is still about the business that Paul was about, or we should be. And Paul was simply about the business of Jesus. So, my challenge as we end this series in Acts is this! Let us write our chapter of Acts well. May our chapter say of us what the first twenty eight said of the early Church: that we were fired with gospel passion, that we spent ourselves on reaching out to everybody everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ!

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