The Best News Ever

Christmas is the best news ever.

For this reason, it simply must be told.

The apostles and prophets–those who witnessed the work of Christ and gave testimony of His mighty acts and His resurrection from the dead–simply could not leave this message untold. They followed the commands of Christ to be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). In the power of the Holy Spirit, the followers of Christ did exactly as Christ had commanded.

The Acts of the Apostles tells part of the story of that witness going out to the ends of the earth. Like any writer or story teller, the author has to determine what to describe and what to select. For example, Luke chose to describe what Paul did in going to the end of the earth with the gospel. What he did not tell is much larger than what he did depict in this magnificent work.

Luke did not tell of Barnabas’ journey with John Mark. Nor did he describe how Thomas the disciple took the gospel to India.

What is told is how these early disciples followed exactly what Jesus told them to do.

First, they filled Jerusalem with the news that God had given their Messiah to the the Jewish people whom they killed, but whom God raised from the dead. Those who witnessed these things preached the message so that early on there were thousands who followed Christ.

Acts 1-12 shows how the gospel went to Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. What a surprise it must have been when even Samaritans received the Holy Spirit!

The Acts of the Apostles can be divided into two parts: Acts 1-12 concerns Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria while Acts 13 begins the description of how the gospel went to the end of the earth.

The Holy Spirit called the church to set apart Saul (Paul) and Barnabas for this amazing work (Acts 13:1-3). The rest of Luke’s work showed that Christ’s command was carried out so that the gospel went even to Rome and to the “end of the earth.”

As we praise God for this “best news ever,” we must make sure that our generation hears the same message. We must make sure that our Jerusalem hears the message and that we help take the gospel to the ends of the earth.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word! — Proverbs 15:23 (NIV)