Some highlights include:
- The first Christian martyr we know of, Stephen. The way these Greek-speaking Jewish believers preached Jesus must have been just a little more radical than the way Peter and the disciples did. Stephen ends up stoned and these "Hellenistic" believers are scattered beyond Jerusalem.
- And isn't it too bad that it takes someone dying to get the church out of Jerusalem and onto the mission!
- Paul has his 180 degree turn around in Acts 9. Here he thought he was being zealous for God when in fact he had a "zeal without knowledge." Other accounts of his life before believing are in Philippians 3 and 2 Corinthians 11.
- The gospel comes to the Gentiles in Acts 10. I love how God settles this controversial question--can Gentiles be saved without fully becoming Jews--before it ever goes to committee. We'd have appointed a study committee over 4 years to bring a recommendation back to General Conference and then have had to have it ratified by the district conferences and other General Conferences. But God sends the Holy Spirit on these uncircumcised men and the debate is over before it begins.
- Prophesy continues in the early church--don't listen to John MacArthur. There is no evidence in the Bible that prophesy has stopped. His teaching is an example of lifting an idea about the Bible over what the Bible actually says.
My personal take-away:
- Don't mistake yourself for a god like Herod Agrippa I did--your intestines might explode...