Summary: We are going to begin a study of the greatest revolution in human history. •A revolution that began with a single man; and when that man died he had little more than a hundred followers. •Yet the revolution he began has changed the world. It has chan
“What Happened Next”
Intro to Acts
I flew up to Portland this weekend (I had a paper I was delivering at a biblical studies conference). As I was flying, I got bored and was flipping through the in-flight magazine and I came across an editorial John Kelly, the CEO of Alaska Airlines.
•He was describing his love affair with new electronic gadgets; he mentioned that he had just bought a new G3 Macintosh computer and then reminisced about his first Macintosh, that he had bought in 1984, just after the Macintosh had come out.
•I could relate because I, too, have been a Macintosh fan for years, and I bought my first one in about 1985-86. You never forget your first PC; those good times you shared as you got to know each other; the games you played; the difficulties you worked through together (especially if you use Windows software).
•But then I thought, “he’s got to be wrong." First Macintosh couldn’t have come out in 1984 was only 15 years ago.
•Do you realize the personal computer revolution is less than 20 years old (now I realize
•It really is a revolution. That little silicon chip has completely transformed the world.
As I reflected on this I thought about the many “revolutions” of this sort that have occurred of this sort:
•The Copernican Revolution, where the way we view the cosmos was revolutionized. Earth circling the Sun.
•The Industrial Revolution, where an essentially animal powered society, became machine powered.
•The Computer Revolution, where practically everything we own is controlled by a silicon chip.
•Now the Internet Revolution; the information superhighway, where we have instant access to vast knowledge
What is a Revolution of this sort? It is a dramatic change in the way people think and act and view their world.
This morning we are going to begin a study of the greatest revolution in human history.
•A revolution that began with a single man; and when that man died he had little more than a hundred followers.
•Yet the revolution he began has changed the world. It has changed the course of human history.
•The revolution I am talking about is of course the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Over the course of last year we studied the life of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke.
•But Luke didn’t just write the story of Jesus’ life, he also wrote an account of what happened after he died and rose again.
•It is described in the book we call the Acts of the Apostles.
•Acts tells the story of how the early Church took the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and turned the world upside down with it.
If you have your Bibles, turn with me to Acts, ch. 1.
As I was sitting on the plane reflecting on this, my breakfast came. And there on the tray beside my box of Wheaties, was a little piece of paper. It had the Alaskan Airlines logo on it. It just has a simple quote, Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever (Ps. 107:1).
•Now I don’t know the story behind that, I assume some key people at Alaskan Airlines are Christians.
•But it dawned on me, that the Revolution is still going on. The Word is still going out. The Good News about Jesus Christ not only reached the whole Roman Empire, and into Europe and Africa, and Asia and the Americas. But there it was, cruising along at 30,000 ft.
Let’s begin reading in Acts (1:1-11)
Notice a couple of things about how Luke begins in verse 1”
“my former book” [Gospel of Luke]
“Theophilus” Theophilus is the person Luke wrote the Gospel to. He may have been the person who sponsored it.
He wrote: about all that Jesus began to do and to teach.
•The implication is what? That Acts is what Jesus continues to do and to teach.
•But the book isn’t about what Jesus does (he’s in heaven most of it), but what his followers do.
•But Luke’s point is just that, it is about what Jesus is doing.
The book of Acts is traditionally called the “Acts of the Apostles,” as though it describes what the apostles did.
But that’s not a very good name. It should be called “The Acts of Jesus, Part 2”. You see the Gospel of Luke is the “Acts of Jesus, Part 1,” The Book of Acts is Part 2.
•The book reveals how Jesus’ work continues. The Resurrection was not end of the Gospel, it was only the beginning. Because now the message of the salvation that Jesus accomplished had to be taken to a lost world.
•Back in Matthew 16:18 Jesus says, "I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it." Acts is about how Jesus built his Church.