e-book The Most Blessed Books of the Bible: The Gospels and Acts

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This writer introduces Jesus, in the first verse of the book, as "The son of David, the promise to Abraham of a seed in whom all the nations of the earth were to be blessed. Matthew has more of these than have all three of the other Gospels .
Table of contents

The lavish lifestyle of many of the people in these oil-producing nations is probably not much different from that of King Solomon. Or, do they hate us because, like Big Brother, we go around the world doing good? No, they like our billions of dollars of foreign aid. Many of the people from the United States are involved in foreign nations working in community development projects and running leprosariums.

The natives love to receive all the help they can get and at the same time hate the people who give it. The main reason the United States is hated by many nations around the world is that in spite of our spiritual and moral bankruptcy, most of the people around the world consider this nation a Christian nation. The response to the arrest of Peter and John is noteworthy. First of all, they respond to the authorities in boldness. This is the kind of response of the church throughout the Book of Acts.

Secondly, they prayed Acts Their prayer is not that the opposition would stop and they could live a peaceful life.

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Instead their prayer is that God will grant them boldness and confidence to speak His Word in spite of the opposition. In no uncertain terms, he tells the Jews about their history of rebellion:. You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.

And they killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you now have become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it Acts There is violent and widespread persecution of the church by Saul.

About the Four Gospels – WAJ

Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem Acts Later Paul himself tells about his violent intent against Christians Acts ; After the Damascus road conversion experience, the violent persecutor Saul becomes a zealous supporter of the cause of Christ, and he becomes the persecuted Paul. Are they servants of Christ? I speak as if insane I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten time without number, often in danger of death.

Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure 2 Corinthians Much of these are physical hardships and natural disasters that he had faced.

It is interesting to note that much of the opposition to the church in the Book of Acts came from the Sadducees, through the Sanhedrin. Although there were Pharisees as members in the Sanhedrin, it was controlled by the Sadducees. Along with the priests and the captain of the temple, they arrested Peter and John and put them into prison Acts 4.

A little later they arrested Peter and other apostles and took counsel to kill them , Their hostile attitude persisted throughout the Book of Acts. Sadducees were the ones who were involved in much of the opposition and persecution of Paul.

Although there were several leading Pharisees who became believers e. One of the main reasons for their opposition was that the apostles preached the resurrection. But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law, and that is written in the prophets; having a hope in God which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked Acts The attitude of the Roman government toward the church in the early history was out of indifference, at least most of the time.


Luke-Acts Miniseries

The main reason for this was that the Roman government in the early stages treated Christianity as a sect of Judaism and so it received an official sanction. There is no involvement of the Roman authorities in the arrest of Peter and John chapter 4 and subsequently in the arrest of Peter and other apostles Acts The Roman authorities are conspicuously absent in the incident of the great riot, which resulted in the death of Stephen even though under the Roman law the Sanhedrin did not have the authority to condemn someone to death John Even when Paul is in the Roman prison he is given full freedom to meet with anybody he wants, and the Book of Acts ends with this note:.

And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters, and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered Acts The persecution of the church under the brief rule of Herod Agrippa I was an exception to the general attitude of indifference by the Roman authorities Acts However, as Luke clearly indicates this was a gesture of favor to the Jewish authorities Luke The untimely and unusual death of King Herod Agrippa I provides a good summary statement to what happens when the church is persecuted:.

And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died. But the Word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied Acts The persecution of the church in the beginning of church history took the church to the uttermost parts of the world. The church began in Jerusalem but did not remain confined there.


The initial persecution in chapters took the church from Jerusalem to Samaria:. Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house; and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. And Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them Acts And then to the uttermost parts of the world; not only to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles:.

So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except the Jews alone. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord Already persecution was making the church truly a missionary church.

Rather than being by design, the first missionary work was the by-product of the persecution. The fortunes of the church within Palestine can be traced in Acts and then outside in Acts So the church reached beyond Palestine proper and beyond Judaism and preached the gospel to the Samaritans, to the Ethiopian eunuch, and to Cornelius and his friends.

These were the steps toward the wide inclusion of Gentiles, especially marked by the labors of believers who traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch Acts As the church moved out from the confines of Jerusalem, it began to fulfill the Great Commission.

The enemies of Christ sought to destroy the church but persecution only led to wider and fuller proclamation of the gospel. And it continues to grow even today. There is no nation on the face of the earth where the gospel has not reached. Nothing can stop the progress of the church. John Rutherfurd writes:. Persecution showed that the Christian faith is immortal even in this world.

Pagan Rome, Babylon the Great, as it is called by the apostle John in the Apocalypse, tried hard to destroy the church of Christ; Babylon was drunk with blood of the saints. God allowed this tyranny to exist for years, and the blood of His children was shed like water. Why was it necessary that the church should have so terrible and so prolonged an experience of suffering? It was in order to convince the world that though the kings of the earth gather themselves against the Lord and against His Christ, yet all that they can do is in vain.

God is in the midst of Zion; He shall help her, and that right early. The Christian church, as if suspended between heaven and earth, had no need of other help than that of the unseen and Divine hand, which at every moment held it up and kept it from falling. Never was the church more free, never stronger, never more flourishing, never more extensive in its growth, than in the days of persecution.

Luke & Acts are actually two accompanying works by the same author.

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places Ephesians The church will stand, no matter what. But when the Son of Man comes, will He find us faithful in doing the work that He has left His church to do?

Christian on May 26, Latest Articles Q. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So shall it be also with this evil generation. How then has it weeds? And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field. He who has ears, let him hear. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, 50 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? Where then did this man get all this? But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.

But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. For they do not wash their hands when they eat. Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.

Overview: Acts Ch. 1-12

And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying after us. Be it done for you as you desire. And he went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Do you not remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered?

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Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. This shall never happen to you.