- 1. Introduction
- 2. The Acts of the Apostles
- 3. The Holy Spirit - Pentecost
- 4. The Fellowship of Believers
- 5. The Gentiles receive the Gospel
- 6. Conclusion
- 7. The Thread - traced in the Early Church
The Thread - traced in the Early Church
This timeline will highlight a thread of truth which runs throughout human history from creation, through every time period illustrated on this timeline, right through to the end times as recorded in the book of Revelation.
That thread is this:
God is Alpha and Omega; as creator, he has revealed himself to mankind as the only true and supreme God for all nations.
He communicates with us and desires to participate in our lives in order to have a relationship with us. His ultimate goal is to prepare us to spend eternity with him in perfect holiness and happiness through salvation.
This thread starts in Genesis chapter one and continues through all of human history as recorded in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
There are two opposing forces which can also be traced from Genesis to Revelation.
First - is the unrelenting sinful nature and stubborn rebellion of mankind refusing to submit to God's laws.
Second - is the constant stalking and harassment of that ancient serpent, the devil. He never gives up in his vain attempts to thwart the will of God in his dealings with mankind.
All through human history, God reigns supreme and in the closing chapters of Revelation, Satan finally meets his eternal doom while the saved of earth enter an eternity of bliss and happiness with God.
Period 8: The early church
Here, in the period of the early church, we witness another significant turning point in human history.
With the coming of Christ into the world, we have already witnessed the transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament; in particular, when the curtain in the Temple was torn in two we saw how God had opened up a new way into his holy presence through the death of Christ.
Now, we witness the pouring out of the Holy Spirit who will dwell in every believer from every nation across the earth, converted Jews and Gentiles!
Not only so, but the promise that had been given to Abraham in Genesis 18 v 18 - “And all nations will be blessed through him.” - was now being fulfilled for all to see. “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”
A casual read through the book of Acts will be sufficient to identify the three strands of this thread. Human rebellion is ongoing as the Gentile authorities oppose this new band of believers. Satanic opposition is easy to identify in the devious maneuvers of the Jewish hierarchy as they also oppose the gospel at every opportunity.
God the Holy Spirit is the key to thwarting the opposition of the Gentiles and Jews as He leads this growing band of disciples into a challenging new future with the gospel spreading across the world.
The risen, ascended and glorified Lord Jesus Christ would now build his church. This church would comprise people from every nation. And so the ancient promise to Abraham would be fulfilled.