The Book of Acts: Chapter 25 (pt 15 of 16)

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The thing that fascinates about everything that has happened in this chapter is the way God involves Agrippa. Think about it, now he is going to hear a very clear presentation of the gospel from directly from Paul. This is where God gets involved. Officially, this was none of Agrippa’s concern, he had come simply for a social visit with Festus, but when he leaves he will have heard the gospel clearly proclaimed. We are talking about a “king” who hears the gospel, and yet there was no official reason for that.

An unbeliever is going to hear a story like this and think nothing of it. In their eyes, it is just another happenstance; simply the coincidence of events coming together; no big deal. They would say that there was more chaos here than cosmos (order). I recognize that, but from my point of view, my God is a God of order—and He is able to bring this order out of chaos. Ed Cole said it better: “God takes todays dung in our lives, and makes fertilizer out of it for tomorrow.” Talking about chaos into order, consider the story of creation in the first chapter of Genesis:

Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water. God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light! God saw that the light was good, so God separated the light from the darkness —Genesis 1:2-4

The creation account describes God’s handiwork in terms of taking what was chaotic and transforming it into cosmos. When Jeremiah describes God’s judgment on Jerusalem, he uses the same terms used in Genesis 1:2 to describe the chaotic state of divine judgment:

I looked at the earth and I saw in a vision that it was formless and empty. I looked up at the heavens and their light was gone —Jeremiah 4:23

The news we rejoice over is that God is going to create a “new creation,” the chaos we now experience will be transformed into cosmos.

For look, I am ready to create new heavens and a new earth! The former ones will not be remembered; no one will think about them anymore. But be happy and rejoice forevermore over what I am about to create! For look, I am ready to create Jerusalem to be a source of joy, and her people to be a source of happiness —Isaiah 65:17-18

For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us. For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility – not willingly but because of God who subjected it – in hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance —Romans 8:18-25

But, according to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness truly resides —II Peter 3:13

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had ceased to exist, and the sea existed no more. And I saw the holy city – the new Jerusalem – descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband —Revelation 21:1-2

If interested, you can download the entire study of The Story of Acts

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