Teaching Acts in Prison: Part 5, A Great Campaign of Sabotage

So, we see the kingdom of God established on earth in the first four chapters of Acts. From there, the rest of Acts recounts how the kingdom of God starts to spread out from Jerusalem and into the world.

In the posts to come I'll have more to share about how, exactly, this spread happens. In this post I just want to make a general comment about how to read the stories in Acts going forward. Specifically, I'd like to revisit this quote from C.S. Lewis:
Enemy-occupied territory---that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.
I want to suggest that this quote is a perfect lens through which to read the book of Acts. As we move on from Acts 4, we are going to witness how the kingdom enters and (re)claims contested territory. What we are witnessing in the book of Acts is the invasion of the kingdom of God, the reign and rule of God taking back territory previously held by the devil. In city after city, the kingdom retakes and reclaims the world, bringing it under the rule of King Jesus. And as we'll see, it's quite a fight!

All that to say, this message really resonates in a prison. The inmates know, in ways many of us don't, that every foot of space in this world is contested space. The kingdom of God is not the default of the world. We live in enemy-occupied territory. Consequently, establishing the reign of God on earth is primarily an invasive action, inserting the reign of God into contested space, reclaiming, foot by foot, territory previously held by the devil.

The inmates get this. And the book of Acts is the story of how it happens.

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