If that day comes, will it not be a tragedy? Will it not greatly hinder our efforts to see our neighbourhood and our nation reached with the gospel?
The book of Acts closes with a man in chains. In chapters 27-28 Paul arrives in Rome as a prisoner. We might expect the book to end on a high note with Paul boldly standing before Caesar and being acquitted before all the watching crowds in this magnificent city. But this does not happen. The book closes and Paul is still in chains. It is not quite the triumphant ending we were hoping for…or is it?
Before we’re tempted to despair, let us recognise that these final two chapters of Acts tell us some very important things:
Heaven is in Control
None of the events that have brought Paul to Rome are an accident. Paul has known the plan since 19:21, and Jesus has reminded him of this in 23:11. Behind all these events is the risen and reigning Lord Jesus. This does not change in the midst of the raging sea. In the midst of the storm of chapter 27, God reminds Paul that “you must stand before Caesar.” (27:24). He will arrive in Rome.
The book of Acts closes in triumph. The gospel of the risen and reigning Lord Jesus continues to advance unhindered. Is this not a great encouragement to us in our times? Heaven is in control and the gospel is unstoppable. No power can stop the advance of the unhindered gospel. Neither the Roman empire, nor Bideford town council.