Campfire Scripture: A dose of man-Bible every weekday for the thoughtful, manful Christian.
Do you like the new placard design by the way? I think it’s legendary!
Book Author and Date:
Luke the physician, expert historian and close confidant of Paul of Tarsus. Given that Acts does not describe the events surrounding Paul’s execution, it’s very fair to conclude that it was written before this event took place, and other highly significant events also not included in the account, so most likely a date around A.D. 60-62 fits best.
Courage, Fortitude, Commitment, Sacrifice.
Luke was meticulous, and same as his gospel account, this was a historical narrative with a single recipient in mind – most excellent Theophilus (Luke 1:3). Acts was written specifically to detail an accurate account of the events which transpired surrounding the acts of the apostles following Christ’s ascendance. The book describes in vivid detail the works of the apostles and the growth of the early church.
Peter and John had just been busted out of prison by Angels, and instead of heading for the hills, they went right back to the temple and kept on preaching. This is where they were found by the zealots before they were flogged and (for the umpteenth time) exhorted to stop spreading the gospel… they didn’t stop.
What I Reckon:
The apostles were causing a huge ruckus. Jews and Gentiles were being converted to Christianity left, right and center. Persecution was steadily mounting but it only increased their fervor. They were preaching the truth of the Resurrection of Christ and calling everyone to repent and believe in Him .
These men had a lot on their side though.
Firstly, the apostles and many in the surrounding region were eyewitnesses to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:32). Secondly, they were empowered especially by the Holy Spirit to spread the Gospel and to disciple the new believers in knowledge and righteousness (Acts 2:1-4). They were also seeing enormous success (Acts 2:41-47). Success, not in a message of love and gentleness, but a bold message of truth, repentance and eternal life (Acts 2:36).
This verse is so telling of the fundamental need to preach Christ who died for our sins, not Christ the therapist.
If you’re looking for a religion that solves your problems, takes away your ‘struggles’ and provides temporary relief from headaches and pains, then you should probably check out Buddhism, or JoelOsteenianism. If you’re looking for a faith that offers you something worth dying for (the truth), worth struggling for and worth all the aches and pains you could possibly endure, then you’re looking for Christ.
Because that’s what these apostles had.
All Campfire Scripture passages are taken from the New American Standard Bible, unless otherwise stated.
John MacArthur, 2006, The MacArthur Study Bible, New American Standard Bible (1995 edition).