(Acts 11) – Coming full circle
In the major accounts of this chapter, God’s sovereignty is put mightily on display. It shows how God brings things together.
Peter is called upon to give account for why he went to spend time with Gentiles and fellowship with them. Him following God made some people nervous. What he was doing didn’t make sense to them.
As he explains all that God was doing, there was no doubt that the Lord was indeed extending His gracious arm towards the Gentiles for salvation.
He wasn’t defending his actions so that he could be approved by these people, he was defending his actions so that they could know the truth. God was at work in the hearts of non-Jews
“Who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”
What a view of ministry!
Then we see what I believe is one of the coolest things in the entire book of Acts…
Remember from Chapter 8 when a bunch of Christians were dispersed because of the persecution of Saul connected to Stephen’s Martyrdom?? Those people went out preaching the Gospel and started some churches.
One of the churches that this group started was the one in Antioch. And it was a powerful church.
So powerful in fact, that it was recognized by the church in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem church sent Barnabas to Antioch to check it out.
This is what’s crazy to me though…
When Barnabas arrives, he was thrilled at what he saw, and one of his first reactions was to get Saul.
So then Saul shows up at the church of Antioch. The same guy who persecuted these people is now standing in their midst as a CHRISTIAN!!! What?!?!?
And then…after spending a significant amount of time together, the church at Antioch ends up sending Saul out as a missionary!
You can’t make this stuff up…
In a sense, Saul was responsible for this church getting started. He persecuted them, they ran, they preached, they started a church. Saul gets saved, visits this church, and then gets sent out by them as a missionary.
God can make beautiful things come out of terrible circumstances. He’s not finished writing stories. He’s gonna tie the bow of human history having orchestrated all things according to his will.
Maybe we should keep waiting to see what God will do next.