In today’s text we finish the book of Acts with a story of the Jewish leaders rejecting the Gospel of Jesus Christ even when it was preached to them by the best of preachers. Acts 28:24 says, “Some” were persuaded and “some” disbelieved. Why is this? How can this be? Here we have a perfectly good message from God, preached by the perfect Apostle for this task, and still “some” reject the message. Some would simply explain this with their concept of election or predestination. Paul was bent on persuading them all to believe. The Gospel calls all men to faith and repentance (Acts 17:30).
Understand that even the texts of scripture that specialize in explaining predestination and election (Rom 9 & 11) still come back to the bottom line of “faith“. At the end of Paul’s argument in the book of Romans explaining election and predestination he did not make those issues the final answer. It always comes down to faith. “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.” Romans 9:30-32 This would have been Paul’s perfect time to say, “what shall we say then… It all comes down to if you were predestined”… But he didn’t! The emphasis in scripture is always faith. When the Gospel comes to you will you believe?
Again Paul wrote…
“… Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” Romans 11:19-23
You see, it’s always a matter of faith.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18