SERIES: The Book of Acts

TEXT: Acts 28:23-31

MESSAGE: “Finishing The Race”


“I am never better than when I am on the full stretch for God.” — George Whitefield

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” — 2 Timothy 4:6-7

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” — 2 Timothy 4:8

“A Christian knows that death shall be the funeral of all his sins, his sorrows, his afflictions, his temptations, his vexations, his oppressions, his persecutions. He knows that death shall be the resurrection of all his hopes, his joys, his delights, his comforts, his contentments.” — Thomas Brooks

Q: What can we learn about finishing the race?

“Luke has taken us for quite a journey. His writing is remarkable, but his ending might appear surprising and perhaps a bit frustrating. We have been leading up to Paul’s trial before Caesar for many chapters now, but nothing is said about it here…Acts closes without telling us what happened to Paul…Why? Because Luke didn’t intend to write a biography of Paul. Luke purposed to describe the acts of the Lord Jesus accomplished by the Spirit.” — Tony Merida

Q: How did Paul finish the race? We see a consistency in…(1. What he believed 2. Where he invested 3. How he overcame)

     1. What he believed (v. 23-24)

“When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved.”

Let this be to you the mark of true Gospel preaching – where Christ is everything, and the creature is nothing; where it is salvation all of grace, through the work of the Holy Spirit applying to the soul the precious blood of Jesus.” — Charles Spurgeon

“…Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me…” — 2 Timothy 4:10

“All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever. And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”  — 1 Peter 1:24-25

        2. Where he invested (v. 30)

He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him…”

“Our eyes are constantly lifting from our communities and people right around us to find the next place “God will call us.” Sociologist Peter Berger refers to this transience as “psycho-spiritual homelessness.” I call it paying spiritual rent. But we need to learn to pay spiritual mortgages right where we’re at…All Christians are to be “sent ones.” The American church is starting to catch on to the missional side of “going well,” but we are largely devoid of the incarnational side of “staying well.” — Alan Briggs

        3. How he overcame (v. 31)

“…proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.”

“…despite all the obstacles we see in Acts, the book ends with the gospel going out unhindered, for wherever the gospel is shared, there is offered an open door to the presence of God, no matter how tension-filled or restricted life is. God is the hero of Acts, and the plot line is how he reveals his word through Jesus and a faithful church. God will make sure it happens, and so will a faithful church.” — Darrell Bock

TAKEAWAYS: How can we finish well?

  • Examine your beliefs
  • Invest right now 
  • Remember who overcomes

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  — John 16:33

At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me…But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” — 2 Timothy 4:16-18

“God will always rescue me, sometimes from suffering but sometimes through it. What does the word rescue mean? The only disease that can really kill you is sin. The only debt that can really sink you is the debt of sin…Therefore, when God rescues you, he comes to you. He embraces you. He wants your good. He wants to turn you into something great…therefore, he rescues you…” — Timothy Keller

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