And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.Acts 13:48-49 (ESV)
People are hungry for the gospel.
Paul and his companions show up teaching the Word of God as it points to Jesus. Eager to magnify the Name above all names, God honors the faithful preaching of the gospel and almost the whole city turns out to hear the message as it pertains to Christ.
We cannot escape the reality that there is a God-shaped hole, an eternal void, in the soul of every human being and only Christ can fill us. For this reason, the gospel resonates in our hearts when we hear it. Even the stories we write reflect the eternal echoes of the story God is telling.
And for those asking deep questions, only the Bible can answer the deep questions that we struggle with: where did everything come from? what is wrong with our world? why evil? who determines right & wrong? what hope do we have for the future? what happens next? what happens when we die?
Only the Word of God begins to give substantive answers to these questions and others.
Yet, in spite of (and even in jealous reaction to) all this hunger and wonder, many people are and will remain opposed to the gospel. Jesus came to His own people and they did not receive Him. Paul tells us that god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, supressing the truth in unrighteousness, humanity prefers to create evil than embrace what is good.
As a result, God’s people will always face opposition to their faith. Old friends will accuse them of being “too good for them.” Family members will doubt their sincerity or reject them altogether. Our world, even in our communities, will seek to press them with ungodly ideals and molds of conformity. Old religions, beliefs, and prejudices will threaten to undo all the gospel seeks to build.
Be encouraged! While opposition is real and can be daunting, God is still and will always be in the business of saving people.
And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. (v.48)
The focus of this passage is verse 48. The gospel goes to the Gentiles; Paul’s mission is launched, his focus is validated… and the Gentiles rejoice!
Our God is a saving God! The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth so that He might strongly support those whose hearts are completely His. (1 Chronicles 16:9) Take courage! He is the initiator. He sent the message of the gospel. He sent the Savior. And now, He is sending us!!
Not only is He sctively seeking and saving sinners, He intends to use you and me in the process!!! No more barriers. No more “go only to the lost sheep of Israel.” (Matt 10:6) Now, we are commanded to go freely to all people.
The gospel is for all people. …that they might hear the gospel, receive life in Christ, and rejoice! So let’s take the gospel to all people…
- …so that those struggling with identity can rejoice at the voice of the One who made them offers them rest.
- …so that those who are isolated and alone can rejoice to find a forever home among the people of God.
- …so that those who are wounded and hurting can rejoice to know the healing and hope that the life-giving gospel offers.
- …so that families locked in conflict can rejoice to discover the reconciliation and peace that God brings when He takes up residence in the hearts of family members.
For every sin, Christ provides forgiveness, and from every sin He offers freedom.
The gospel is the light of the glory of Christ.
The world is locked in darkness
and in need of light.
While many will reject the light and prefer darkness,
still others will recognize the light, and grab hold of it, and be saved.
…and we get to participate in shining this light and watching people come to life!