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  • Jun 09 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Acts 29 Vision
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Acts 29 Vision

Download Notes in a .MD file

Acts 28:30-31 (Pastor Heo)

This is the last study for Acts, but we know that Acts is not yet complete. If you open your spiritual eyes, you can see that Acts is STILL BEING WRITTEN. Today, let us put these words into practice so that we also may be the co-authors of Acts 29. God bless you.

30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.


As we know, Paul had been in prison for 2 years just before going to Rome. Now, he’s in house arrest in Rome for another full 2 years.

Through this story, we can learn a very important lesson from Paul about HOW to make the most of a very bad situation.

He remained under house arrest – this great missionary, apostle of Christ – unable to minister as he desired. So, he simply did WHAT HE COULD. He welcomed all who came to him, he taught, preached, counseled, persuaded, prayed, wrote books of the Bible. He wrote 4 letters (Paul’s Prison Epistles) = Eph, Phil, Col, Philemon.

These remember our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, Jesus succeeded in his mission completely, in the wilderness and his cross. The first man, Adam, failed his mission completely in the most beautiful circumstances (The Garden of Eden).

So, who can say to God, “I cannot serve you because of my bad situation”? No one. If you find yourself in a bad situation, look for ways to serve God and glorify God.

Eph 5:15 “Make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.” (Within your time, save your time, because the days are evil (KJV))

v. 30-31

30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

This book of Acts has a SUDDEN ending. Why? How? This shows the spread of the gospel going to Rome and the world continually as the Great Commission had directed. Why does Acts stop HERE? Because it’s not about the life of the person Paul, but about the process of the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Acts 1:8 is the key verse:

“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.”

  • Chp 1-7 = Spread of the gospel in Jerusalem
  • Chp 8-11 = Spread of the gospel in Judea and Samaria
  • Chp 12-28 = Spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth (Rome)

Among 66 books in the Bible, Acts is the ONLY book which is not yet over – in its mission.

In the Greek Bible, *acolotos* is the last word in this book. The meaning? “Without stop; without hindrance; continually.” This makes the final word in Acts very meaningful.

Today’s Christians are the ones who are to do the continual writing of Acts in the NEXT chapter (Acts chapter 29).

You all have your own personal history, right? This is simple and easy to understand, but meaningful and important.

Everyone – Christian or non – has his own (good or bad) life story and personal history. Then, every Christian is to have TWO life stories (before / after; earthly / spiritual) Every Christian has this life story.

  • Earthy = temporary; on earth
  • Heavenly = eternal; on earth and in heaven

Check your own life story.

“One life; two stories.”

I have one LIFE, but two stories.

All Christians throughout the Bible and throughout history, all have this one life; two stories. Let me show you 3 examples:

#1: Joseph

He was hated / envied by his elder 10 brothers. They sold him into slavery to Egypt. He was Potifer’s slave (one of the king’s officials). He was wrongly accused by the wife and thrown into prison. 2 years later, he interpreted the dreams of the Pharaoh – and through this, he became the Prime Minister of Egypt (the greatest country of that time). One day, years later, in a great famine, his brothers came to buy food from him twice. In the second coming, he revealed himself to them. “I’m your brother Joseph who you sold into slavery.”

This is Joseph’s earthly life story, but he also interpreted this into two stories.

“Brothers, do not be distressed, because God sent me here ahead of you to save your lives. You intended harm for me, but God intended it for good – the saving of many lives.” This is Joseph’s spiritual life story.

  • Earthly life: “you sold me”
  • Heavenly life: “God sent me”

We are made to have meaning. If your life has meaning, you can bear almost anything. “With a strong enough WHY, you can bear almost any HOW.”

Giving our lives spiritual meaning is important.

#2 Jesus

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, 2,000 years ago through the womb of the virgin Mary. Like Joseph, he was hated and misunderstood by his fellow Jews. They delivered him to the Roman guards. Pontias Pilate was a profession in finding someone’s faults, but could not find anything wrong with Jesus. He knew he was innocent, but had no courage to set him free – so he handed him over to be executed. He was crucified, dead and buried, and rose again. This is Jesus’ life story (earthly).

Heavenly: God became man in Jesus to come to earth to save us, to die for us, and save us. He was not killed unwillingly, but chose by his own accord to be killed for the salvation of all. “Nobody takes my life from me. I lay my life down of my own accord. I have authority to lay down my life and take it up again, for I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”

Jesus died and rose again and ascended into heaven and is STILL interceding for us on the right hand of God. And one day he will come to complete it all.

  • Earthly: he was killed
  • Heavenly: he sacrificed himself

#3: Paul

Like Joseph and Jesus, he was hated and misunderstood by his Jewish brothers. They arrested him and handed him over to the Romans. Felix, Festus, and Agrippa heard his story, but none set him free. So he appealed to Caesar. He came to Rome to stand on trial before Caesar. This is Paul’s earthly life story.

Heavenly: Paul’s coming to Rome is the sovereign will of God. Some time before, Jesus appeared to him and said, “You will testify about me in Rome.” Also going to Rome and preaching the gospel was Paul’s vision. In Romans: “God, whom I serve with my whole heart is my witness about how constantly I pray for you. I long to see you and impart some spiritual gift to make you strong. I’m eager to preach the gospel to you who are at Rome. I’m not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for all who believe.”

  • Earthly: sent to Rome as a prisoner
  • Heavenly: lead to Rome as a missionary

You also have your own life story.

v. 31

31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts finishes not with Paul’s earthly life (and end) but with his spiritual life (and continuation). Earthly life is temporary, heavenly life is eternal.

Who are the ones who are continuing the book of Acts?

Acts 29 Vision

The book is like a relay race (계주/경주).

Do you have experience with this?

In the relay, the ending of the first runner becomes the starting point of the second runner – and the baton is passed on. Those who begin running at the end of Acts 28, continue into Acts 29.

31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Those who focus on preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ are the ones who are writing the continuation of Acts.

At the end, I want to focus on:

  • the kingdom of God
  • the Lord Jesus Christ

Kingdom of God

Do you have interest in the Kingdom of God? This is our country.

Phil 3:20 “Your citizenship is in heaven.”

So, we must be very interested in this country – this is our country (kingdom).

What / why / when / where / how is the Kingdom of God?

  • Who: You / us / Christians
  • What: Jesus’ first message is about the kingdom of God. John the Baptist’s first message was the same: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near.”

The key teaching of Jesus in his ministry was the Kingdom of God – the Beatitudes’ first and last sentences are about the KOG. “Blessed … for theirs is the KOG.”

Especially in Matthew, we can see Jesus say so many times, “The KOG is like….”

Also, our daily and first prayer is about the KOG.

“This is how you should pray: Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name; your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Jesus also teaches that your first priority must be about the KOG: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and then all these things will be added to you.”

The fulfillment of the KOG and the end of this age will happen at the same time – they coincide with each other. Jesus says, Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached to ALL nations, and THEN then end will come.”

The fulfillment of the gospel and the end of the world will coincide.

After his resurrection, Christ stayed on earth for 40 days and spoke about the Kingdom of God. In a sense, we can say, Acts starts with the Kingdom of God and closes with the KOG.

What is it?

Kingdom of God === Kingdom of Heaven === Kingdom of Christ

It is a country. Essential elements of a state in the physical world = population, territory, government. In the spiritual world, in the KOG, the most basic idea is = rule / reign / sovereignty.

So, the KOG is the rule / reign of Christ (sovereignty of Christ). This is the rule / reign of God over ALL Creation.

But more narrowly speaking, it is about Christ’s spiritual rule over the hearts and lives of those who submit and obey willingly the will of God by confessing Christ as Savior and Lord and King.

His Lordship / Kingship / Sovereign governance – if your are really ruled by Christ, then you are a part of the KOG.

When: Now and here

It has been established already,

but not yet made complete (at the age that has yet to happen)

With Jesus’ first coming, the KOG began. “Repent, the KOG is near.” It is present, but also future. With his Second Coming, his Kingdom will be established perfectly and completely.

Where?

It is a country so it can be in a particular place, but it is not limited by space. It transcends time and space. It is in you.

How?

31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you know your position in this world? We are ambassadors of Christ. We are sent from our country to this world to establish his kingdom in this world.

“My kingdom is not of this world.” (Jesus)

This world belongs to Satan (temporarily) – “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” (Next verse) “We do not preach ourselves, but Christ crucified.”

Our mission is to spread and establish his kingdom in this world: by confessing and preaching Jesus as Lord and Savior, and inviting others in.

Phil 2:10-11 “At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

This is the fulfillment of the KOG.

We are now between the first and second coming. (Between the cross and the crown).

Our mission is very simple and clear: to profess and preach Jesus as Lord and Savior, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and to invite others in – to make the population of the KOG larger and larger.

If we do this, we also are writing Acts 29 with God in heaven.

Let us pray together.

  • Apr 29 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Gentiles Receive the Gospel (Acts 11)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Gentiles Receive the Gospel (Acts 11)

4.29

Bulletin_04.29.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Barnabas brought Saul to Antioch.

The disciples were first called “Christians” at Antioch.

Last time, Acts 10 – conversion of Cornelius, the Gentile = a milestone in the church’s history.
Cornelius was first fruit of Gentiles receiving Christ.

Peter, very Jewish, had to be convinced by a vision to receive Cornelius and go to his house.

In Acts 11, Peter recounts his vision and actions.

The angel said, Peter will give them a message by which their whole household will be saved.

The Holy Spirit fell on them, and the same manifestations of the Spirit appeared on them as had appeared at Pentecost on the Jews.

How does Cornelius conversion affect Gentile standing with Jews?
It doesn’t fix or set the proper relationship, Jews and Gentiles.

v.2-3
The circumcised believers (Jews) criticized Peter “You ate with uncircumcised! (Gentiles)”

The emphasis of circumcised believers shows that some in the church insisted that ALL people should be circumcised in order to REALLY be saved (fundamentalist?)

They didn’t really care that Peter had baptized a Gentile. They only cared that Peter went into their home, fellowshipped with them and ate food together.

Sharing food symbolizes sharing spiritual life.

Gentiles often offered their food to idols (problem in the early church – even Paul addresses it in Corinthians).

So, the circumcised Jews felt that Peter had “tainted” the fellowship by joining with the Gentiles in eating.

So, Peter had to explain himself “precisely.”

He describes Acts 10 with some new info. (v.14) “He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.”

Peter also talks about the 6 other believers who ALSO entered the house with him (v.12). This suggests that he expected to be challenged (these are witnesses, maybe bodyguards?). So these 6 also had been converted and their testimony would be important, and hold weight for the other Jews.

So, God has put his stamp of approval on this event – Peter PLUS 6 other religious Jews are all in this together.

Peter can point to God as the one who arranged the whole thing.
Cornelius prayed, the angel visited Peter, he saw a vision of animals in the sheet, he was reluctant, but the Spirit of God encouraged him to continue, to greet the “unclean” Gentiles, to share the good news.

It was all a God thing.

Peter figured, if God gave them the same gift, how could I oppose God?

This argument was so convincing that even the hard-core circumcised believers were OK with it (v.18). “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

Interesting: Peter spoke a message to save Cornelius and his family.
Cornelius was a leader, a good man, generous giver, religious, seeker of God, went to church, feared God, was respected by other church-goers.

And yet…
Something was lacking. The knowledge of salvation of Jesus Christ alone.

Going to church isn’t enough.
Being a good person isn’t enough.

But, these things drew Cornelius to God.

It is clear that Peter is sharing the good news with Cornelius. It was clear that Cornelius had heard of some of these things.

In Luke, the author mentions 5 centurions like Cornelius – and has good words for each in their dealings with Jesus. So, Cornelius had likely heard many stories of Jesus and other centurions (like himself).

Cornelius, good man, church-goer, still needed Jesus, needed to be born again, needed the Holy Spirit.

This story Peter told, appears to be the end of the controversy with the Gentiles, but it isn’t. This is a huge transition – a whole paradigm of a whole population of people that would need to change.

It would take much convincing that God wanted Gentiles just as much as Jews.

The believers in Jerusalem would be concerned with LOTS of Gentile believers. How would that affect the Jewish church in Jerusalem?
These problems will linger until Acts 15, where a council is formed to establish some rules.

Now, Luke is ready to write about the main theme of his book, the expansion of the church, the spread of Christianity to the Gentiles. The stage is set, so Luke will continue his book with Paul – the missionary to the Gentiles.

Antioch became the headquarters (2nd) for missions. Jerusalem was the headquarters of the church.

Antioch was large, but sinful.
Luke begins his story of Antioch with the story of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, killed for Jesus.
Saul (hardcore Jew) had witnessed this and saw Stephen as a threat to his own beliefs. He agreed and watched the killing.

The same day that Stephen was killed, a great persecution of Christians started, so they scattered – preached the gospel as they left, in Samaria, Ethiopia, Acts 10 (Roman centurion), Cyprus, Antioch, etc..

They had preached mostly only to Jews, but by Acts 11, 12, and on, they started preaching to the Gentiles, the Greeks in Antioch, etc.

The hand of the Lord was with them, and many turned to the Lord. The church in Jerusalem heard these things, so they sent a delegation down to Antioch to see what was happening (same as what happened with Samaria). So, they sent Barnabas.

Barnabas, from Cyprus, a good man, man of faith. He would be a good bridge between Jerusalem and Antioch (different peoples, different cultures).

He encouraged the believers in Antioch.

He was instrumental in introducing Saul (Paul) to the believers in Jerusalem. After Paul’s conversion, the Jews were hesitant to receive him. But Barnabas saw his true conversion and testified to it and introduced Paul to the Jews, who received him largely on Barnabas testimony.

Barnabas realizes that the ministry in Antioch is too much for him, so he goes to Paul (in Tarsus) and brings him. They preached and built up the Antioch church for a year.

Many of those who shared the gospel are nameless in the Bible. They simply received salvation, and wanted to spread the good news.

A great awakening, revival began with nameless people.

If you think, what can God do with insignificant me? Think about them. God did much!

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen