And he [Paul] remained a whole two years in his own rented lodgings and received all who came to him, Proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning Jesus the Anointed, with all boldness and without hindrance.
This is how The Acts of the Apostles ends.
I can’t say how good it has been for me to go through this work chapter by chapter these past five weeks. I’ve been greatly encouraged and picked up so very much.
To put a little bow on it, there’s just a few things to share.
The hero of this volume is the Holy Spirit, carrying out the mission of the Kingdom of God which Jesus Christ inaugurated, bringing it to more reality through all those who would believe, working the miraculous via those who open themselves up to this powerful force of God and allow it to flow through them out into the world.
This is still true today, for me and you.
The ending of Acts seems a bit abrupt, not telling us Paul’s fate, but this is the way it had to end. I leave you with more highlights from William Willimon’s commentary which has meant so much to me during this study…
We have observed the church proclaiming those mighty works despite every hindrance and every obstacle.
While in no way denying the real challenges the gospel must overcome, as well as the real suffering believers must endure, Acts is determined to encourage Theophilus by telling the positive story of the forward advance of God’s truth.
The stories of success—stories a persecuted, despondent church needs to hear—abound in Acts.
Acts must close in an open-ended fashion, with the door still open for work and witness rather than closed by death, because the Spirit is still active. Luke is not simply writing history. He writes the story of the Spirit, the Spirit incarnate in people like you and me.
Now, nearly two millennia after Luke wrote to Theophilus, Acts reminds us that despite rejection, persecutions, setbacks, and our own lethargy or cowardice the gospel proclamation continues to the very end of the earth, by God’s grace, unhindered.