The End of the Beginning

The End of the Beginning

When asked if the end of World War II was near, Winston Churchill famously replied, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” As we conclude our look at the life of the Apostle Paul and our Journey through the book of Acts, join Pastor Gary Webber as we consider how the unfinished story of Acts 28 invites us to continue Christ’s mission to the ends of the earth.

And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him. 

After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, “Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case. 

But because the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar—though I had no charge to bring against my nation. For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.” 

And they said to him, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against.”

When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved.

And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: “‘Go to this people, and say, ‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.”  For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.

Acts 28:16-31 (ESV)

Three conclusions from the end of Acts:

  • God has not called us to be successful; He has called us to be faithful. (Acts 28:21-24)
  • We are not responsible for those who refuse to listen but are called to share with everyone who will. (Acts 28:25-28)

Two important questions our Church must answer:

  1. Who is hurting that we can help?
  2. Who can we reach that no one else is reaching?
  • An obstacle can be an excuse or an opportunity. (Acts 28:29-31)

Daily Readings:

Day 1: Acts 21
Day 2: Acts 22
Day 3: Acts 23
Day 4: Acts 24
Day 5: Acts 25
Day 6: Acts 26