Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Often Overlooked Message of the Book of Acts, "The Last Days!"

The often overlooked message of the book of Acts is that we are in the last days! We have been in the last days since the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the believers just like Jesus said. The apostles were, like so many of us, concerned about Jesus return to earth to establish his kingdom. But they didn't understand that Jesus was going to "return" first through the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:1-8)! The plan of God was that the kingdom of God was being established within men (Luke 17:21). The Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands (Acts 7:48). He was to live his victorious resurrected life in human beings through the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 2:20)!

After Jesus was resurrected he commanded the apostles to stay in Jerusalem until they received the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:44-53). They were witnesses of the Holy Spirit and the power of God demonstrated in Jesus life through the many miracles that he performed and in his bodily resurrection (Acts 2:22, 24). Now that same power would be working in them so that they would be able to testify of what they had seen and heard (Acts 4:20).

On the day of Pentecost, after Jesus had received the gift from the Father, He poured the Holy Spirit out upon those who believed, just as he said. Peter told the crowd that was present that the prophecy of Joel was being fulfilled. He quoted the prophet Joel saying, 'And it shall be in the last days,' God says, 'that I will pour forth my Spirit on all mankind...' (Acts 2:17).

We are in the last days; however we have been in the last days since the day of Pentecost. Our focus should not be on an event, but on the person of Jesus Christ who desires to live his victorious, resurrected life within us with power, through the Holy Spirit which he freely gives to those who obey him (Acts 5:32).

That's the gospel - it's incredibly good news and something to get excited about!

Listen to my message from July 8, 2012, "What did the Witnesses Have to Say?"

"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."

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