People often forget most of what you say, but do sometimes remember accurately your last remark. The last word of the book of Acts in the Greek New Testament is the word akolutos. The word literally means “unhindered,” though many translations render it with multiple words.
Others move the word from its final position for the sake of syntax. In both cases, it would appear that something is lost in translation. Luke was intentionally making a statement with this last word of his two volume testimony to the life of Jesus Christ. Luke may well have intended readers to pause at the conclusion of his words, leaving us with the provocative thought of a Gospel that is unhindered.
He concludes, “Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, unhindered” (Acts 28:30-31).
Through prisons and angry crowds, the book of Acts traces the birth and growth of the early church. The book begins with a few hundred believers in Christ and a collective will to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and to all the ends of the earth. Opposition to this witness is described at every turn. Persecution, beatings, death, and imprisonment all threatened the voice of the early church and ultimately the spread of the Gospel itself. But in spite of all this, Luke epitomizes the history of the early church and the spread of the Gospel by boldly describing the progression of God’s Word as going forth without so much as the slightest of hindrances.
The Good News of God to all the world, he seems to want us to remember, goes forth in power.
When we are pressed on all sides by variant theologies and distorted gospels, when the media delights in yet another conspiracy theory that promises to be the downfall of Christianity, we are to remember the great narration of which we are a part. The book of Acts is largely concerned with documenting the history of the early church within the context of the unhindered work of God from the beginning to the end.
“Indeed,” says Peter, “all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days. And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers” (Acts 3:24-25). We need not live defeated by every emerging plot to undermine Christ.
We are to live instead in his victory, walking forward as heirs of the great unhindered kingdom of God. We are a part of a movement that will not fade away. The Gospel was and is and always will be a testimony that exists without hindrance. No one can thwart the progress of the Gospel, for it is sealed by the Spirit that presses it onward.
Nothing can stop the ultimate victory of the story of God, for it is finished. We follow a God who spoke in the beginning and who will have the final word.
That is the authentic Prophetic Message – no matter what life brings, God has the final Word!
Don’t give up – keep looking to God, you’ll not be disappointed.