Thursday, June 11, 2020

Thursday - Acts 28 - The Last Chapter



E all know that the story of the church is not over. However, as far as the New Testament record of the activities of the church is concerned, this chapter wraps up the straight history presentation. Of course, much more information concerning the first century churches can be pieced together from the epistles that follow this. And, we know that the actual acts of the apostles did continue beyond this, but the book with this title closes with Paul's ministry in Rome. His final trial and his execution are not recorded here. However, it is claimed that Paul was beheaded while Nero was emperor in Rome.


In the last chapter we left off with Paul (as well as all the rest of the people on the same ship that he was on) surviving a shipwreck. In this chapter, we find that he & his "companions" were all treated very kindly by the inhabitants of the island onto which they washed ashore. This kindness was a product of God's grace. God also delivered him from a venomous. Even though Paul was in miserable circumstances, he was still full speed ahead in ministry for the Lord, healing Publius' father (vs. 8) & many others on the island (vs. 9).

In Rome, Paul's ministry focus would be gospel presentation and doctrinal teaching (vs. 23). Paul experienced considerable freedom in Rome. He was free to mingle with his Jewish brethren there. To them he faithfully presented the reality of the risen Christ. A portion of the Jews accepted this message, but some did not (vs. 24). Evidently, the Roman Jews considered Christianity to be merely a subdivision of Judaism. They had heard about it, but they counted on Paul to explain it to them (vs. 22).

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