We now come to the end of the book of Acts. I can’t believe that with this, we come to the end of Biblical history. All that remains are the letters that were written by the apostles and the Revelation given to John.
But the story ends in an unusual way. It in fact has no ending. We see Paul arriving at Rome and sharing the gospel with the Jews who were there. As was the case throughout his ministry, some people believed, and some didn’t. And when some utterly rejected his message, he moved on to preach to the Gentiles.
At the end of the book, Luke tells us,
For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ. (30-31)
You’d expect to read about his appearance before Nero. Or to at least hear about the end of Paul’s life. But you hear neither. Instead, you just see him preaching the gospel to all that would listen.
Why does the story end this way? I don’t know. But perhaps it’s a way of telling us that the story of Acts goes on to this day. To this day, the gospel continues to go out. Some people when they hear it close their eyes and ears as the Jews did and continue to do to this day. But God has made sure throughout history that his gospel, despite persecution and all kinds of attacks on the church, both from within and without, has continued to go out.
And now we are a part of the story. We have heard the gospel and come to believe it. Now, like Paul, we are called to go out, filled with his Spirit, and preaching the gospel to every nation. Are you? Are you filled with his Spirit? For without his Spirit, we won’t have the power to share the gospel as God has commanded us.
A lot of people call this book the “Acts of the Apostles.” But from the very beginning, it has truly been the acts of the Holy Spirit working through his people. So as I finish this book, I go back to the beginning to where Jesus told his apostles,
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
May we all go out, filled with the Spirit, and continuing the story started 2000 years ago.