The New Testament of the Bible is the history of our Church. But how much of it have you read? In this video, Taylor challenges all of us to take the time to read the Acts of the Apostles, as they began preaching the Gospel, to be inspired by the letters of Paul & early Church leaders, and to dive into the Book of Revelation, which should inspire a hunger for the Mass.
Howdy and welcome back to Beyond the Pew. My name’s Taylor, and it’s great to be here with you on another week of Beyond the Pew in our series on the Bible. So today we’re going to be looking specifically at the New Testament, except for the Gospels. We covered that last week. We’re looking at the book of Acts. We’re looking at the letters written to the churches to individuals, and then that crazy book of Revelation, that nobody seems to understand, we’re gonna try to shed some light on that a little bit as well.
So first of all, the book of Acts is my favorite book in the Bible, hands down or hands up, I don’t know what I’m doing, hands down my favorite book in the Bible. It’s the story of the young church, so Jesus ascends into heaven, promises the Holy Spirit, they receive the Holy Spirit the Apostles do, the disciples do on that first Pentecost, and when the Holy Spirit comes it changes everything. It turns these guys who were scared to even be around the crucifixion into some of the greatest preachers of all time. These guys who were simple fishermen that weren’t brainiacs but now all of a sudden, by the power of the Holy Spirit, they’re able to preach, that people want to be converted. They’re able to walk by and people are healed. They’re able to raise people from the dead.
It always reminds me of the power of prayer, that the power of believing in the Holy Spirit, and the power of knowing that God really can do the impossible
These are just stories that every time that I’ve read through the book of Acts, it’s not that long you read like a chapter a day and finish in about a month, it always reminds me of the power of prayer, that the power of believing in the Holy Spirit, and the power of knowing that God really can do the impossible when it seems like there’s things that God can’t fix in your life. He absolutely can. You can find that in the book of Acts.
Then, there’s the bulk of it is all these letters. In the book of Acts we see the conversion of so many different people, and one of those is Paul which is a great thing otherwise the New Testament would be very, very short, because he wrote the bulk of it. In these letters to churches, he would travel around plant churches and then send them letters on how they were doing. He would hear how they were doing, and address how they can continue to grow in holiness and grow in the truth, knowledge, and love of Jesus Christ.
It says in the scriptures that his word never comes back void
So that’s the primary thing that these letters are for, is to one, let us know the story of Jesus and what he did for us, but also to call us to greater holiness, to challenge us into greater holiness. Reading these letters is one of the best practical ways to assess yourself and to grow in your personal holiness. I promise you if you’re reading these letters that you cannot read them and walk away without becoming a better spouse, a better parent, a better person because these are the things that God wants to share with you on how you can grow and be more and more like him.
It says in the scriptures that his word never comes back void, that anytime that you spent time in his word, especially in these letters that are challenging you and encouraging you to fall more in love with God and with your neighbor. It will definitely accomplish what God set out to do. This happened for me when I was in college. I truly set out, started reading the New Testament, and I read the whole thing within a semester. And it truly changed my life, the most impactful semester I’ve ever had in my entire life, and then we finally get to the book of Revelation, what a doozy that one is right. Everybody’s like, “Oh it’s talking about the end of the world. It’s gonna happen on Tuesday.” No it’s probably not. People’ve been saying that for years.
So what actually is the book of Revelation? So the book of Revelation, it is written by John when he had a vision of what heaven would look like. And what it really is, is an allegory trying to give people hope. They lived in a time where they were persecuted, where people were being martyred for the faith, and John wrote this to essentially say all the bad things that are happening in your life right now, there’s going to be a place, this heaven, that is going where there’s no more tears, there’s no more sorrow, and it’s going to be this great wedding feast of the Lamb.
And speaking of that wedding feast of the Lamb, that’s the other major part of this book of Revelation, is that it’s actually about the Mass. This is crazy! It’s something that I didn’t learn until a couple of years ago, but if you think about like when you go to Mass, you hear holy, holy, holy Lord, God of hosts, this is us participating in the worship that the angels are constantly doing in heaven. And when like the Mass is truly when heaven meets earth, and we become one with God when we receive the Eucharist. There are so many dozens and dozens of parallels between revelation and the Mass, where heaven and earth are finally touching, and that’s ultimately our final goal is to get to heaven. So all of these books are trying to help us to do that.
John wrote this to essentially say all the bad things that are happening in your life right now, there’s going to be a place, this heaven, that is going where there’s no more tears, there’s no more sorrow, and it’s going to be this great wedding feast of the Lamb.
My challenge for you: the New Testament, if you read two chapters a day you can finish it in almost a little over four months. I would challenge you to do that, just for yourself, as a parent, as a spouse, and maybe to spend some time and ask your kids some questions about it as well. But let’s work on you and me here this week, and I want to take that challenge up with you.
Thank you guys for listening. I hope it helped you out. God bless you and yours, and we’ll be back next week on Beyond the Pew.