“Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him” (Acts 28:31).
Many times when reading an exciting book we are tempted to look at the back of the book to see what happens. The Book of Acts is God’s Training Manual for Today’s Church. It is an exciting story in the most thrilling book in the world, the Bible.
The Bible is the story of the battle between good and evil. When you look at the last book of the Bible you see good wins and evil loses. The devil, Satan is bound for a thousand years and thrown into the bottomless pit where he can no longer deceive the nations of the world. Eventually he will be thrown into the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:2,10).
The Book of Acts is the triumphant story of the birth and growth of the Church. In the midst of a battle between good and evil, and persecution, the Church grew and became a powerful force in society.
“Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:20).
The first thing to be noticed about this verse is that Jesus wanted His followers to teach what He had commanded.
In the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) we see Jesus performing “on the job training” with His followers. He also promised He would be with us until the end of the world. Our being alive today proves the world has not ended. Through being filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the promise Jesus is still with us.
The Book of Matthew closes with the word “Amen.” This word means “let it be so!” It expresses our willingness to be obedient, and proves we are in agreement with the speaker. It also implies something is finished. Nothing can be added to the Word of God.
John in the Book of the Revelation warns us that if we add to the Word of God or take away from it, “God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city” (Revelation 22:18-19).
At the end of the Gospel According to Mark you find the powerful promises of the Word of God for the believer (Mark 16:15-18). The book closes with these words, “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen” (Mark 16:20).
What a thrill to realize Jesus is working with us, and confirms the Word preached with signs following. He said, “these signs shall follow them that believe” (Mark 16:17) and, “greater works than these shall he do!” (John 14:12).
At the close of the book of Mark we find the word “Amen,” letting us know the writing is finished and we should “let it be so.”
The Gospel According to Luke ends with, “And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen” (Luke 24:53).
Again the word “Amen” lets us know the book is completed.
“And there are also many other things that Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen” (John 21:25).
The Lord Jesus Christ has done many great things in the past and continues to work in the church today. The book of John is complete.
However, when we look at the end of the Book of Acts we do not find the word “Amen.”
The Book of Acts is the only unfinished book in the Bible.
It is a book that closes quickly. In this book we see the Lord at work through the Holy Spirit. We see the growth of the Church. The Lord is still at work, and the Church continues. God intends for the acts of His disciples, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the preaching of the Gospel to continue on until the end of the world.