1. In Acts 1:8, Jesus gave the apostles a specific plan for carrying the Gospel to "all nations" (Matthew 28:19-20). 2. Throughout Acts, Luke showed how the Lord's plan was implemented. 3. As he did so, Luke wrote about a number of conversions that occurred in various areas. 4. Studying these conversions helps us understand how we become Christians today. 5. As Luke wrote about the spread of Christianity in the first century, he also addressed a number of responsibilities that the Lord has given to His people, including "faithfulness."
I. PASSAGES WRITTEN PRIOR TO ACTS INDICATE THAT BLESSINGS ARE IN STORE FOR GOD'S FAITHFUL PEOPLE
A. (Psalm 31:19-24) David wrote about God's blessings for "the faithful." B. As Jesus spoke about the judgment that will take place when He returns, He showed how His faithful followers will be blessed (Matthew 24:44-47; 25:14-23).
II. IN ACTS, LUKE RECORDED A NUMBER OF PASSAGES THAT RELATE TO FAITHFULNESS
A. He recorded examples of the Lord's people being faithful. 1. The Christians in Jerusalem were faithful (Acts 2:42, 46). 2. Peter and John were faithful (Acts 4:15-20). 3. The apostles were faithful (Acts 5:40-42). 4. Stephen was faithful (Acts 7:54-60). 5. Paul was faithful (Acts 14:19-22). 6. Paul and Silas were faithful (Acts 16:22-25). B. He also recorded instructions that emphasize faithfulness. 1. (Acts 11:19-23) When Barnabas went to Antioch, he exhorted the Christians there to "cleave unto the Lord." 2. (Acts 14:21-22) Paul and Barnabas exhorted Christians in various cities "to continue in the faith."
III. FAITHFULNESS IS ALSO ADDRESSED THROUGHOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT
A. (1 Corinthians 4:2) Faithfulness is the main requirement of stewards. B. The Lord will bless His faithful followers with: 1. "a crown of life" (Revelation 2:10) 2. "rest" (Revelation 14:13).