This is the third chapter of the audio book Whatever Became of Jesus Christ? The Biblical Case for the Second Coming as Accomplished Fact. Total listening time for this segment is only 3 minutes and 40 seconds.
Subsequent chapters will be found in subsequent posts (all of which should be published within the hour). There’s a fuller explanation of all this in the post for the first audio installment: WBOJC00 – Whatever Became of Jesus Christ? The Biblical Case for the Second Coming as Accomplished Fact – Preliminary Material.
Here’s the written text of what’s being read in the recording segment above:
Chapter Three – What The Acts of the Apostles Says
What Acts Says About the Timing
There is much less history in the New Testament than there is in the Old Testament. Other than the Gospels telling us about the life of Jesus, the only history we have is the book of Acts, which tells us about the work of the apostles that Jesus gave them to do. Therefore, this chapter will be a very short one. Nonetheless, it will be consistent with, and therefore confirm, all that we found about the timing of the Second Coming in the Gospels, and all that we will find about it in the Epistles which we will cover in the chapter that follows.
In Acts 2:17, Peter announces that Joel’s prophecy of ”the last days” is being fulfilled. Peter preaches to the crowd that it’s time to repent before the coming of “the great and glorious day of the Lord.” If Peter and His contemporaries were in the last days, don’t you and I have to be in something else?
In Acts 13, Paul quotes the prophet Habakkuk saying on behalf of God,
Notice that it doesn’t say God is beginning a work in their days that will take almost 2,000 years or more to accomplish. Rather, he says, it is being accomplished in their days. In this, Paul is absolutely consistent with Jesus about timing.
In Acts 20:29-30 NASB, late in Paul’s ministry, as he was speaking his parting words to the leaders of the church in Ephesus, he warns them of the coming rise of false leaders, whom he called “savage wolves…not sparing the flock.” He knew that as the time of Jesus’ return was approaching, the rise of falsehood among teachers and leaders was the inevitable and final phase.
There is a sense of urgency that permeates the book of Acts from one end to the other. The apostles were not lethargic. They had a mission to reach all their fellows Jews before the great judgment against ancient Israel commenced. Along the way, they would learn that Gentiles could also taken into this “ark of salvation” that was being built for the deliverance of God’s true people from the great flood of judgment that was about to be released on the whole world.
The apostles were not focused on buildings or institutions – the very things that have occupied so many Christian leaders since that age, down to this very day. Rather, the apostles were zealous to reach every person they could – building up in that person the knowledge necessary to grasp and cling to the salvation God was offering. Contrast the pace of Acts with the pace of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt to the promised land of Canaan. Moses could afford to be slow and deliberate; there was even a forty year delay when the people rebelled. The apostles had no such option. They had to get their message out, and they knew just how long they had – their lifetimes…and no more.
End of Chapter Three