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Encourage: Unhindered

Unhindered.

That is the last word in the book of Acts. Luke, inspired by the Holy Spirit, chose that word with purpose.

And he (Paul) stayed two full years in his own rented quarters and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the Kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered” (Acts 28:30-31 NASB).

Consider Paul’s circumstances. His “rented quarters” were where he paid to keep himself under house arrest while awaiting trial in Rome. Paul’s path to Rome from Jerusalem included an angry mob, false accusations, an assassination plot, kangaroo courts, chains, prison cells and a shipwreck. Suffice it to say, he was going through a tough spot.

He encountered geographic, political, cultural, ethnic and religious obstacles to his work. Yet, the Truth kept marching on— the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ kept on advancing, unhindered.

Paul could not come and go as he pleased, so the Lord brought people to him. Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, slave and free—He took all comers and boldly told them about Jesus and the Kingdom of God.

New Testament students often wonder why Luke did not finish Paul’s story. The Book of Acts leaves us with unanswered questions about Paul. Did he get out of house arrest? Did he get to testify to Caesar? Was he executed? Why doesn’t Luke tell us the rest of the story?

That’s Luke’s point. He is not telling the story of Paul. He is not telling the story of Peter or Stephen or Philip. He is telling the story of all that Jesus is continuing to do among us—of the advance of the Gospel from Jerusalem to Rome and beyond. Thus, unhindered is the rest of the story. Paul is in chains, the Gospel is not. The Gospel of Jesus is still unhindered.

Hear the word of the Lord for 2020:

  1. It’s not about you or me, but Him. This is not my story or your story, but His story. Keep your focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. Live each day grateful that you can have a small part in the advance of the Gospel.
  2. In this year of obstacles and adversity, live with confidence that the Gospel is unhindered, especially if we will share it with openness and with boldness like prisoner Paul.

By the way, plan now to join us for Oklahoma Baptists’ Annual Meeting at First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow on November 10. Our 2020 theme: Unhindered.

Hance Dilbeck

Author: Hance Dilbeck

Hance Dilbeck is executive director-treasurer with Oklahoma Baptists

View more articles by Hance Dilbeck.

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