Progress in proclaiming the Gospel

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 28:28-31 ESV

Bob Deffinbaugh comments on the ending of the book of Acts:

One final word about the supposedly “sudden and abrupt” ending of the Book of Acts. Many have noted the unusual ending of Acts. Some have explained this ending by suggesting that Luke intended to write yet another volume. I think that the ending of Acts is both beautiful, and enlightening. Consider with me the way that Luke ends this work as we conclude this message.

There are some very obvious facts that are not given to us in Acts before the book ends. We are not told of Paul’s fate, or of the outcome of his trial. We are not told of the fall of Jerusalem. We are left without any word on these matters, matters which we would very much like to know more about.

I am not inclined to believe that Luke omitted these things because they had not yet happened, though this may be the case. If they had not yet happened, they would take place very soon after the Book of Acts came to a close. Regardless of the reasons why more information is not included, it was not included, and this must be in accordance with the purposes of God, and especially His purposes for this book.

Luke does tell us that “two full years” passed, during which Paul was free to proclaim the gospel and to minister to all who came to him (28:30-31). The expression “two full years” suggests to me that Luke may have known the outcome of Paul’s trial, and also of the fate of Israel and Jerusalem. If so, he did not include them in his book. Why not?

I think I know the answer, an answer which should prove to be very enlightening to each and every Christian today. Luke’s purpose was not to provide us with a book that has a “happily ever after” ending. Much of our uneasiness with the ending of Acts is that we don’t have a fairy tale conclusion. What Luke does tell us, however, is that the gospel was proclaimed to the “remotest part of the earth” just as Jesus had said (see Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:6-8). It is the progress of the proclamation of the gospel which is foremost in Luke’s mind, and the Book of Acts makes this progress very clear.

To read the rest of the commentary on Acts 28, click here:


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