I have been exploring the book of Acts as of late. What an exciting read!
With each chapter, I become more and more engaged with the text. What an incredible account of the miraculous events that took place after the ascension of Christ! It ends with a great show-down between Paul and the Jewish leaders.
Chapter 28 (the last in Acts) gives a unique account of Paul trying to convince a group of Jews that the Gospel is truth. Verse 23 states that Paul spoke to them from morning until evening. Paul explains to them that the Gospel is not anti-law of Moses or anti-prophetic, but that Christ fulfilled all divine literary works given to the Jews.
By verse 25, it states that the Jews were split on the matter! Some believed Paul and some denied it to be truth. All f a sudden, Paul makes his final statement, using prophetic words that the Jews would be familiar with.
“The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet: ‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’“Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” (Acts 28:25-29)
Now Paul said that the Gentiles (non-Jew) would listen and throughout the Epistles, we see His statement hold true. However, as I read verse 26 and 27, I am convicted that these words could be used in our churches today.
How many of us are trying to warm a seat in church with cold, dead souls? We choose certain topics to push personal agendas. We tune-out when a challenge is given, to turn from a particular area of sin or stumbling. I truly feel that our “people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.” Maybe our Western church could use a strong rebuke like this.
Originally posted at QuietMorningsWithHim.com by Jeremy Norton.