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Paul Preaches at Rome Under Guard January 17, 2017

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Acts 28:17-31.

Summary: In this passage, Paul met with the leaders of the Jewish community in Rome. He conjectured that they had heard unflattering reports of him; thus, he asserted his integrity. They allayed his fears and invited him to present the Gospel message to them. He accepted their invitation and subsequently preached the Gospel message to a large crowd of Jews. While some of them believed it, the rest rejected it. Paul anticipated those negative reactions, as he knew that Isaiah 6:9-10 predicted their behavior in that regard. He spent the next two years boldly preaching the Gospel message to those in Rome who visited him.

Thoughts: In verse 24, we see that Paul’s presentation of the Gospel message to the Jews in Rome yielded mixed results. Calvin offers some thoughts on this point:

We know that the apostle had such grace of the Spirit that he could have moved stones, and yet he could not win everyone to Christ even after debating and testifying for a long time. Therefore, let us not be surprised today if many people’s unbelief resists the plain teaching of the Gospel and if many people remain obstinate, although the truth of Christ is just as clear as the midday sun.

We should remember that God displayed His sovereignty in this instance, as He knew beforehand who would accept Paul’s teaching and who would reject it. That being said, I ponder the following questions:

  • does genetics play a role in determining someone’s openness to novel teachings?
  • how does one’s upbringing – including the influences of parents, teachers and peers – impact their response to a novel argument?
  • how can God supernaturally intervene in the life of a hardened skeptic to enable them to accept the Gospel message?

Verse 31 is an apt conclusion of this book, as it reminds me of Jesus’ command to the eleven apostles in Acts 1:8 to preach the Gospel “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This stroll through Acts has shown me how God enabled His followers to fulfill that command and bring many souls into His kingdom. Now that I have completed this stroll, I am inspired to continue engaging with nonbelievers in this world. I believe that we:

  • must not conceal our worldview from the nonbelievers around us – though we must be tactful in that regard
  • should continue to build our relationships with them
  • should pray that God would be glorified through our interactions with them
  • should pray that He would bring their souls into His kingdom – if it is His will.
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