We now begin the second phase of our safari through Scripture. Our desire is to see all 27 books as a whole—to see how they fit together, how they relate to us, and the value of each section to the person who reads and believes the Bible. Of special interest is the “flow” of thought carried through these books and letters of the New Testament.
The Church is like a mighty army marching through time deliberately, confidently, victoriously…spurred on by the promise of its Founder that the gates of Hades will not overpower it. No other book in the Bible underscores the richness and courage of our heritage better than the book of Acts. And no other book affirms more clearly our God-given power to persevere. We may be small in number, but no remnant was ever surer of its destiny.
Good leaders will say, “Stay at it!” Ever notice how motivated and strengthened you feel when you have people who come alongside and let you know they want you to succeed? And the result? “Many people were brought to the Lord.”
The reason we place our trust in Jesus is not to escape the horrific destiny of hell. According to Scripture, following Jesus means that we’re in a lifetime process of becoming more like Him. Be listening when Chuck Swindoll helps us remain focused on our primary mission.
As I thought about this I wondered, “Why does Jesus have to return at all?” Couldn't He just plan it so when people die they go to heaven or hell and then, when the divine Timekeeper says time has run out, it's game over?
Like the apostles, we live during the same in-between time and have been equipped with their apostolic testimony recorded in Scripture and clothed with the same Spirit of power to carry out the same plan of reaching the world with Jesus’ message.
In the first chapter of the book of Acts, the apostles were gathered in Jerusalem, waiting and even a bit confused. Would the kingdom of Israel be restored now that Jesus had risen from the dead? What was the nature of the kingdom of God? What did Jesus mean when He said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you”?
You may only be one person, but you can still make a difference. So, please, make a difference! God has opened a door for you. It’s open right now. Find it. Walk through it. Don’t hesitate.
You are among our friends who’ve made us a braided cord, not easily broken…partners who’ve enabled us to proclaim the Good News to a needy world.
Itʼs a bit dismaying to realize that you’re going to be spending eternity with people in the family of God you don’t even speak with on earth! Quite frankly, when someone has wounded us with his or her sharp quills, it’s natural to want to keep our distance. But we do need each other, needles and all!