Since the dawn of humanity, the mission of God has always been to have his people in his place for his glory. The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is the grand and beautiful story of God accomplishing his mission of drawing all people from all places to himself. This mission, pointed to on every page of the Old Testament, culminates in the coming of Jesus Christ who lived perfectly, died brutally, and rose again victoriously. But what happened after the resurrection of Jesus? Did Jesus have any impact on the society of the 1st century? Even more importantly, does the resurrection of Jesus have any bearing on our world today? The answer to these questions (and many others) is found in the book of Acts.
When Jesus ascended into heaven, his mission didn’t stop or slow down. The book of Acts (formally known as “the Acts of the Apostles”) tells the story of Jesus continuing his mission from heaven through his Church. In Acts, Jesus takes a small, fledgling group of about 120 disciples living in a hostile, pluralistic society and turns the entire world upside down in about thirty years’ time.
In the first part of our series on the book of Acts, we saw how God established a foundation for His global mission. By the grace and power of God, the church experienced major missional success in the city of Jerusalem. But the command to take the gospel to Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth had yet to be attempted. In the second part of our series on the book of Acts, we are going to see a few key events take place to prepare the church to become a trans-local movement. We are going to experience beautiful stories of God’s mission advancing in and through the lives of a diverse people. From the story of Stephen’s brutal execution to Saul’s radical conversion, Acts Part 2 details the lives of real people who encountered the risen Jesus and were forever changed.