I feel that I have written quite enough on Acts! It has not been easy because I have little personal experience of what Luke recorded. Five things struck me as I studied the book:

(1) The Jews were given numerous opportunities to believe in Jesus but they would not. The people of the Old Covenant were Paul's bitterest opponents. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. John1v11. It was difficult for the Jews to become Christians because it represented such a tremendous change. Even Peter found it hard to change his dietary habits. The aspect of Paul's ministry that scandalized the Jews was his offer of salvation to the Gentiles conditional on faith alone. Sadly many Jews were racist and hated Gentiles.

(2) God works his purpose out without constraining man's freedom of action. God's providence and man's free choice are not incompatible. God's plan of redemption is carried out in spite of Jewish disbelief.

(3) In Acts13v48 Luke writes: When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honoured the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. I take this to mean that God appointed, or chose, before the foundation of the earth to give believers in Jesus eternal life. God made this decision in the knowledge that some would believe and some would not. In this way God predestined some to salvation and others to destruction. He made this decision knowing that most Jews would reject his son and be lost whereas many Gentiles would believe in Jesus and be saved.

(4) Many different factors and influences play a part in bringing a man or woman to belief in Jesus. People are prepared for salvation by upbringing, circumstances, human decisions, God's word, Christian teaching and the Holy Spirit. It takes enormous skill on the part of the Divine Husbandman to prepare the human heart to receive the good seed without overriding the human will.

(5) Paul was very different from most modern evangelists. He witnessed while he worked at his trade. He argued, debated and reasoned rather than preached long sermons. Paul was an author who dealt with a great variety of topics relevant to the well being of the church. He was not afraid of controvery. In some respects he was more like C.S.Lewis or G.K.Chesterton than Billy Graham. Paul had no big organisation to back him but he could testify: But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might by fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. 2Tim4v17.