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(Part 43)


April 21, 2013
Today’s reading: Acts 13:14-52

Those who believe will be saved and enter into eternal life. If we BE.LI.EV., then we will E (enter into eternal life). There is a converse way of looking at this connection between faith and eternal life. “All who were destined for eternal life came to believe.” (Acts 13:48b). It is not only that faith results in eternal life, but one destined for eternal life will come to faith.

God intends for all to be saved. This is why God sent His very own Son Jesus to suffer and die for us, and by his resurrection win for us our salvation. Our salvation, which translates to eternal life, has already been won for us. We are destined for heaven. However, we still need to respond, by accepting that salvation. We accept by calling upon the name of the Lord, looking to Jesus as Savior and Lord.

But how can one call on Jesus if he has not heard about him. Thus “it was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first” (Acts 13:46b). If we “reject it,” then we “condemn ourselves as unworthy of eternal life” (Acts 13:46c). If we accept, then we are saved and we enter into eternal life.

Here we see the important role of evangelizers. God desires all to enter into eternal life, but the process by which they do so starts with the proclamation of the gospel to them, done by evangelizers. They need to believe and come to faith in Christ. When they do, then “in him every believer is justified” (Acts 13:39). The role of evangelizers is crucial, for “we ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you that what God promised our ancestors he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus” (Acts 13:32-33a).

Now the evangelizers themselves need to believe. Believe not only in Jesus, but believe in the work given to them. And believe that as they do the very work of God as His instruments, that such faith works wonders. Evangelizers need to heed what has been said by the prophets: “Look on, you scoffers, be amazed and disappear. For I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will never believe even if someone tells you.” (Acts 13:41).

Jesus himself told us that those who believe in him will do even greater works than he did (Jn 14:12). We might find this hard to believe if someone told us so, but it is Jesus himself who tells us. Dare we doubt him? Do you then believe? Are you a scoffer? “Be careful, then” (Acts 13:40a), because you might disappear. You might disappear from your part in the proclamation of the gospel. You might even disappear from the list of those who will enter heaven.

Remember, God has chosen us to become His evangelizers. “For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.’” (Acts 13:47). You are an instrument of salvation! What is your reaction? “The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord.” (Acts 13:48a). How about us? Are we delighted? Are we excited? Do we appreciate the great privilege of being God’s instruments for proclaiming the gospel? Do we respond to the call wholeheartedly? Do we make this work a priority?

Let us be about the work of rapid and massive evangelization. Let us ensure that “the word of the Lord continue to spread through the whole region.” (Acts 13:49). In fact, throughout the whole world.

And while we are at it, realizing the great importance of our work and the great privilege bestowed upon us by God, let it be said, “The disciples were filled with joy and the holy Spirit.” (Acts 13:52).

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