They Will Listen1
On Sunday, we completed our inspiring series through the book of Acts. In this second volume of Luke's theological history of the birth of the Spirit-filled church, we've seen over and over again the Holy Spirit indwelling and propelling the church forward to extend the bounds of God's kingdom. And as we were reminded about on Sunday, all of this came on the heels of God's promises to His church through Luke.
First, Jesus promised in Luke 24:46-49 that he would send the "promise of [his] Father" to the first disciples to equip them for their witnessing ministry. And guess what...He did! We read about how He fulfilled that promise in Acts 2:1-4 when the Holy Spirit baptized the disciples who were in the upper room, anticipating the promise. God promised, and God delivered. And the New Testament church was empowered to begin fulfilling the Great Commission.
Then, Peter explains in his Spirit-filled sermon (that led to the conversion of about 3,000 people!) that this "promise [of the Holy Spirit] is...for everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself" (Acts 2:38-39). And as Benny walked us through a recap of the book of Acts on Sunday, we saw afresh how the Holy Spirit fulfilled this promise in continuing to build the church. You see, the Holy Spirit was being poured out on new believers from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and towards the ends of the earth...
Which leads us to the promise in our passage. As Paul explains to the believers in Rome in verse 28, the "salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen" (emphasis mine). They will listen. Redeemer Church, this promise is also for us. As Benny explained regarding the abrupt ending of this book, Luke is basically saying to the church at large, to us, "to be continued..." As we continue the mission that we see propelled forth in Acts, we have God's infallible promise that people will listen. This is as certain as the Holy Spirit's presence with us.
Church, these promises are God's gifts for us to rest upon. Our Father has saved us, He has promised to fill us with His Spirit, and He has promised to give us a captive audience to share the gospel with. We are part of the same church that we see in Acts, and God uses the same method of advancing His kingdom as we see in Acts.
So let me ask you: who is your captive audience? What neighbor, coworker, family member, or complete stranger has God propelled you toward, who will listen to you as you watch the amazing work of the Spirit working through your witness to the gospel of Christ? Whoever it is, this is what Luke wants you to know: by God's grace, they will listen.
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