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CHURCH 2000 (9 OF 12)
As you know the book of Acts opens with the
command of the Lord Jesus to be witnesses to the end
of the earth. The book of Acts closes with the
apostle Paul, in the city of Rome, living in his own
hired house, his own place of lodging. If you had an
opinion poll taken in the city of Rome taken at that
time and it asked the question--who is the greatest,
most influential person in Rome? Probably the poll
would have said that Caesar was the greatest, the most
influential person of all. But if you ask God who the
greatest person there beyond question Paul would have
been that individual. There in this city of Rome
lodged a man who would shatter and mold a city, a
nation and a world. There was a man in prison, so to
speak, and yet he was a man God was going to use to
change the course of human history and to shape the
history of the world from that point on.
Many people who have taught the book of Acts have
pointed out that the book ends in a rather unusual
way. I asked you to put into parenthesis these last
four words--no man forbidding him. Those words are
really used to translate one word in the original
language. It is actually an adverb. It is an unusual
way to end a book. You would not normally end a book
that way. You could translate it this way.
There is the question as to why the Holy Spirit
led Dr. Luke to end the book that way. Some have
suggested that it is a word of consummation. Luke
started off to demonstrate that the Gospel of Jesus
Christ was to be preached in Jerusalem, Judea,
Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.
So, when Paul came to the city of Rome, it is now
consummation, unhindered. Others have suggested that
it is a word of conquest. It is a shout of triumph.
It falls from the lips like a victor's cry.
Unhindered--God's church just keep goin ...
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