The New Testament book of Acts is an incredible account of the birth and early days of the church. Within its pages are found wonderful stories of visits from angels and dreams from God. There are prison breaks and executions; magicians and eunuchs; Saul gets blinded while Peter’s eyes are opened; the sick are healed and the dead are raised. While the outside world hates those inside the church, the church itself abounds in love.
Without Acts we would not know from where the church came—we would go from the gospels to the epistles, with no information as to how and why the church suddenly covered the known world. Acts shows Jesus go up, the Spirit come down, and the church move out.
This book has such a powerful beginning that we would naturally assume its ending would likewise rise to the occasion. Instead, its author, Dr. Luke, nonchalantly ends his book by leaving Paul in Roman custody awaiting a trial (From other sources we know Paul was soon released, but eventually executed for preaching in the name of Jesus).
Why does Acts end this way? Why does it seem as if the final chapter was somehow left out? Acts is open-ended on purpose because Acts is the story of the church. It is fitting to see that the book about the church doesn’t end, because the church of Jesus will not end on earth. You and I, as the redeemed of the Lord and part of His body, must carry on the work of the ministry until our final breath. Let us live each day as the hands and feet of our Lord, reaching the world in the manner of Paul, because the pages of church history are still being written.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”