Books of the Old Testament Summaries: Minor Prophets

Hosea

Hosea was a prophet of God during a time when the people of God in Judah were not being faithful to the Law. God told Hosea to marry a woman who would not love him like she should. God did this to show the people of Israel that though they were His people, they did not love Him like they should. When they served idols and did not obey God’s law, they were not showing true love for Him.

Through Hosea, God told the people that He would not be their God and they would not be His people if they did not repent. He also said that He would allow an enemy to come and defeat them in battle and take them to live in another land. God wanted his people to serve Him and He would take care of them and make sure they had food, water, and places to live. But the people loved their idols and would not turn to God even when their food and water became hard to find. Can you imagine not having much food or water but still not serving God who would give plenty of food and water?

Though the people had not loved God like they should, God was willing to take them back if they would repent. To repent means to change your mind so that instead of disobeying God, you will obey God. God would forgive their sins if they would turn to Him.

Hosea begged the people to turn back to God. He told them that the Lord had brought suffering on them for sin but He would make things better if they would return. But, he said, they were not very faithful. They did not have a strong love for God. Hosea said that God wrote great things in His law but the people thought they were strange things. They did not learn the law of God like they should and so they did not understand the things God wrote to help them be good people.

Hosea also said that God would not accept the animal sacrifices they people were offering. They thought that even if they were not obeying all of the law, if they made sacrifices like the law commanded, that God would accept it. But God did not want them to just keep part of the law, He wanted them to do all that He commanded. We must make sure that we do not think that just because we do something religious, like going to worship services, that we can use bad  language, or lie, or do other things God does not want us to do. God wants us to serve Him with our hearts, because He loves us. He also wants us to keep His law because it is good for us.

Lessons from Hosea

  • God wants people who are sinning to come back to Him so He can forgive them.
  • God wants His people to keep His laws and serve Him because they love Him.
  • Sometimes people will not serve God even when they are punished   for disobeying.

Joel

During the period of the divided kingdom, God sent many prophets to His people to teach them.  God’s people were not obeying the Law of Moses and were worshipping idols and being mean to one another.  God sent His prophets to tell the people that God loved them but if they did not repent, God was going to punish them.

The prophet Joel was one of the prophets God sent to His people.  We don’t know exactly when Joel prophesied, but it was a terrible time in Israel’s history.
Imagine one of your parents coming back from the grocery store with no food.  You ask them, “Where is the milk, bread, and other food?”  Your parent sadly tells you that there was no food, in fact the food is gone from all the stores.  Think how you would feel!

The book of Joel describes a similar situation with Israel.  They did not have grocery stores like we do, but would grow their own food to eat.  According to Joel, God sent a great number of locusts, insects that eat the plants, to eat the food that was growing in the fields.  Why did God do this?

When God gave His people the law, He said that if they obeyed Him He would make sure that it rained when it was supposed to, that their animals and plants would be healthy, and they would be protected from other nations that wanted to attack them.  But, if they disobeyed God and began to worship idols, God promised that He would not let it rain on their land, He would make them run out of food, and allow other nations to fight against them.  This is what happened in Joel’s time.  Though God sent the locusts to eat their food, if they would repent, nothing worse would happen to them.

God wanted the people to really repent.  He didn’t want them to just say they were sorry, but to really feel sorry for disobeying Him.  He told them that if they did repent, He would give them the rain and food again.  According to Joel, the people apparently did repent because, in the second chapter, God promised to give them plenty of food.

Joel also prophesied about the coming of the church in Joel 2:28-32.  What he said here was fulfilled over 600 years later when the church was established in Acts 2.  If you look in Acts 2, you will see this passage quoted.

Joel’s prophecy ends with a warning that God would punish the nations that tried to hurt His people.

Joel reminds us that God will judge His people and the world.  If we are pleasing God we have nothing to fear from His judgment.

Lessons from Joel:

  • God will punish His children when they do not obey Him; like a good parent punishes a disobedient child.
  • God will forgive His people when they repent of their sins.
  • God will punish those who are mean to His people.

Amos

The prophet Amos prophesied during a time when God’s people were stronger than their enemies, and had plenty of food and money, but their hearts were sick. They did not love God like they should so even through things seemed to be going well, God was angry with them and was going to punish them.

God’s people had been worshipping idols and were mean to one another. God told them that He was tired of them coming to worship Him when they did not live like they should the rest of the time. Through Amos, He told the people that they would be punished, their money and houses would be taken away, and they would be taken from their land by another nation.

Amos was a shepherd and also took care of sycamore trees. God talked to Amos and told him to tell the
people to repent of their sins. God does not call men to speak His message today like He called the prophets in the Old Testament. The prophets were specially chosen to warn the people.

Amos told the people that God was not pleased with their worship. Some had set up idols and worshiped them in God’s name. God hated this because He had already told the people how to worship Him. In His Law He told them not to worship Him with idols. They had also set up idols to pretend gods. God hated this also.

He not only wanted them to worship Him like they should, He also wanted them to treat one another right. They were not being fair with one another. Some were trying to make money by cheating their fellow Jews. Amos told them to practice justice and righteousness. Even if they worshipped correctly, if they did not treat their brethren right, God would not be pleased. We must always remember that God wants us to treat our family members, people at church, and other people fairly and to be kind to them.

God punished His people with famine, locusts, diseases, and even allowed other nations to fight against them and win, but the people would not repent. Therefore, Amos told them “Prepare to meet your God, O’ Israel!”  God was going to judge them and punish them if they would not repent. If they did repent, not only saying they were sorry but changing their lives to do what God wanted them to do, God would not punish them.

We can learn much from Amos’ prophecy. We must worship God as He commanded us to do, treat Christians fairly, and repent when we do things that are wrong.

Lessons From Amos

  • God wants us to worship Him in the way that He commanded
  • God wants us to worship with our whole heart and mind.
  • God wants us to be fair with Christians as He wanted the Jews to be fair to one another
  • We must always be  prepared to meet God

Obadiah

The prophet Obadiah was sent to talk to the people of the nation of Edom. The Edomites were related to the Israelites. Israel came from Jacob, the Edomites came from his brother, Esau.

In the story of Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25-27, 32-33), the brothers were born at the same time but looked different. Esau was the oldest and would be the leader of the family when his father died except he sold that right, called the birthright, to Jacob for a pot of stew when he was very hungry. Jacob later deceived his father into making sure that he got the blessing. Esau was angry and wanted to kill Jacob so, for a long time, Jacob lived far from Esau.

Just as the brothers struggled in their lives, the nations that followed them, the Israelites and Edomites, struggled with one another. One time when Israel was attacked by an enemy, the Edomites did not help and, in fact, took some of the treasures from Israel and some of the people as slaves.

God sent Obadiah to tell the Edomites that he was not pleased with them.   Obadiah told the Edomites that they should not have stood by when Israel was taken captive by their enemies or killed the Israelites who tried to escape from the enemies. Though they were strong, God told the Edomites that stronger nations would come and punish them. God would bring Israel back to their land but Edom would be destroyed.

We should learn an important lesson from this. When something bad happens to someone, we should not do bad things to them or help those who are being mean. Some call it “kicking someone when they are down.”  We who love God should help people up when they fall, we should help them in bad times especially when no one else will help them. There are some people at school who have to suffer bad things and, on top of that, other people make fun of them. We should try to help them, not make them feel worse. God knows and He sees what we do.

Lessons from Obadiah

  • God knows who mistreats His people and will punish them
  • We should not help people mistreat others but be friends in a time of need
  • God is watching how we treat others
  • Do not kick someone when they are down

Jonah

Jonah was a prophet of God who lived during the time of the divided kingdom, not long before Israel was defeated by Assyria. The book of Jonah opens with God commanding Jonah to go to Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrians, and tell them to repent or they would be destroyed.  The Assyrians were not part of God’s people, in fact they were great enemies, but God wanted them to turn from evil.  God gave Nineveh a  final chance to  repent or be destroyed.

Instead of going to Nineveh, Jonah went the opposite direction!  He tried to flee from the presence of God, but no one can flee from Him.  He tried to run because he knew that God would forgive Nineveh if they repented and he did not want to see God’s enemies repent. While Jonah was on a ship, God caused a great storm to put the ship in danger.  Jonah told his shipmates that he was the cause of their trouble and that they should throw him into the sea.  They did not want to do it at first but, after he convinced them, they threw him overboard.  The Lord prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah and he spent three days and nights in the fish. In the belly of the fish Jonah prayed to God for deliverance.  God spoke to the fish and it spit up Jonah on land close to Nineveh.Jonah entered Nineveh on his first day of walking.  As he walked through the city he proclaimed, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”  The people of the city believed God and went without food, put on sackcloth, (to show sorrow) and repented of their sins.  God had mercy on them and decided not to destroy them.

Jonah, instead of being happy that the people obeyed God, sulked.  Jonah went on a hill to see what would happen to the city.  It was hot so God prepared a plant that grew up quickly and provided shade for Jonah.  God then destroyed the plant the next day.  Again, Jonah was angry.  God rebuked Jonah for being angry that the plant died and not rejoicing in the repentance of the Assyrians.  God told Jonah the souls of the people were more important than the life of the plant.

Micah

Micah was a prophet of God when both bad and good kings ruled in Judah. Micah warned the people that God was going to come and punish them for doing wrong if they did not change their lives and start serving God.

Micah said that the city of Samaria, which was the capitol of the nation of Israel, would be destroyed because the people were wicked. Micah said that the stones that made up the streets and buildings of the city would be thrown down the hill and what once was a city would be turned into farm fields. The people of Samaria did not repent and God sent enemies to destroy the city. The city of Samaria was not rebuilt. People wanted to put farms on the good land of the hill on which Samaria was built. They could not grow food in with the stones all over the ground so they took the stones of the buildings and the streets and threw them off the side of the hill. Even today the stones lie on the sides of the hills and people farm where the old city of Samaria existed. Micah’s prophecy came true and has remained true for thousands of years.

Micah was sad about the people of Judah who always wanted to do wrong. He said they lie on their beds at night and try to think of bad things to do and when morning comes, they wake up and practice those things. They were mean to their neighbors and took houses and land from them. But God saw their evil and punished them for acting so selfish and wicked.

Micah also warned the people who would not listen to the prophets whom God sent to warn the people. The people did not want to hear that they were doing bad and that they needed to change. They would tell the prophets to quit prophesying. They would listen to someone who told them what they wanted to hear, even if it was wrong.

People today can do the same thing. Some people do not want to hear God’s word if it means they must change their lives. They will find people who will preach what they want to hear. We need to listen to God’s word and change our lives to live by it. We should never try to change God’s word to say what we want it to say.

Finally, Micah warned the people who thought that God would be with them even when they were doing wrong. Some people today will use bad language, lie, or do other bad things and think that God will still save them because they go to church every Sunday and maybe even lead singing or preach. God says that he will punish them.

Lessons from Micah

  • The prophets told of events that would take place in the future which came true
  • God would punish the people who thought up ways of doing wrong
  • We must listen to God’s word especially when we have to change our lives to obey it
  • God’s people will be punished if they do not obey His word

Nahum

Nahum was a prophet of God chosen to take his message to the people of Nineveh. Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire, one of the enemies of God’s people. It was the nation of Assyria that took the northern tribes of Israel into captivity. They were very brave but very mean. They would often cause their prisoners to suffer terrible pain before they killed them. I am sure that the people of Israel were treated badly by the people of Nineveh.

God sent Nahum to tell the people of Nineveh that God was going to punish them because they were so mean to Israel. If you read in the Old Testament, you will find that God chose Assyria to attack Israel because Israel was not obeying God but were worshipping idols. However, the people of Nineveh did not attack Israel because they thought they were helping God, but because they wanted to get their land and all of their treasures. Since they treated Israel so badly, God would punish Assyria.

The people of Nineveh were very strong but God told them not to trust in their strength for He was more powerful. They thought that they were a great nation, and at the time they were, but God said that he would destroy the nation. This would be hard to believe for the Assyrians controlled a lot of the world around them. However, since God spoke against them, they would surely fall. No matter how strong they were, they could not fight God and win.

God said the palaces would be destroyed and that wild animals would live in the city. He also said that the people would be taken prisoner by other nations just as Assyria took other nations captive. This came true just as God promised. The Babylonians destroyed the city of Nineveh and took the people away.

God promised that He would take care of His people. Though they seemed weak compared to the people of Nineveh, God would be their strength. We may be small compared to so many people who want to do what is wrong but God takes care of us, too. However, we must be faithful to God because He is angry with those who turn their backs on Him and choose to not serve Him anymore.

God had given Nineveh a chance to repent long before, when God sent Jonah to tell the people to repent. They changed for a while then turned back on God. Now they would be destroyed.

Lessons From Nahum

  • God remembers those who are mean and mistreat His children
  • When God says that He will destroy a nation, no one is strong enough to fight against Him
  • God will take care of His people as long as they are faithful to Him
  • If we sin, we must repent and serve God

Habakkuk

Habakkuk (sounds like hub-back-cook), is one of the minor prophets, which means that he did not write a lot of material. We do not know much about him but he has an important message.

Habakkuk cried to God because the wicked people were treating the good people very badly. He wondered how God could allow the wicked people to do mean things for so long. God told Habakkuk that the wicked seem to be getting away with evil but that He saw all their meanness and sinful ways and he would punish them for disobeying Him. We need to remember that though it seems like nothing bad happens to wicked people, God knows their sin and will punish them when He is ready. We must keep doing what is right.

The most important lesson in the book of Habakkuk is “the just shall live by faith.”  This important thought is also taught in the New Testament by Jesus and the apostles. Those who do what is right will live by their faith in God.

The wicked are full of pride and greedy for things in this world and God will punish them for both. He pronounced “woes” on those who desired other peoples money and things, people who got drunk and tried to get others drunk, and those who worshipped idols. A woe is a sorrowful cry to one who is going to be punished. If Habakkuk lived in our day, instead of woe, he might say, “I feel sorry for you” and tell them why they should worry about God’s judgment. Of course, those who are doing right do not have to worry about the “woes” for they have blessings from God.

Habakkuk reminds the readers that since God has punished His people who lived on the earth by bringing enemies against them and making them go without food, He will also judge people before His throne of judgment eternally. We must be ready for judgment by doing what is pleasing to God and not being like the wicked people.

Lessons from Habakkuk

  • God sees the wicked that some men do and will punish them
  • The just shall live by their faith in God
  • The wicked should be sorry if they do not repent
  • God’s physical judgment should remind us of spiritual judgment

Zephaniah

The prophet Zephaniah prophesied during a time when many people were trying to do what is right. While he was alive, the king of Judah, Josiah, destroyed idols all over the land and told the people to serve God. Under the two kings before Josiah, the people were worshipping idols and doing many things that made God angry. But Josiah, a young man, loved God and wanted the people to serve Him.

Zephaniah warned the people that God would destroy everything in the land of Judah if they people continued to worship idols. He said the people would become like food for their enemies. He also said that no amount of money would buy their freedom. In fact, the people would lose everything they owned to their enemies. He said that the enemies would live in their houses and eat the food from their vineyards and fields. God would do this if the people did not repent.

God’s people had a wrong attitude about God. They said that God would not do good or evil to the people (Zephaniah 1:12). They were wrong to think that God would do nothing. Some people today think that God does not care about things in the world and that He will do nothing good for us or bad against us. We must not think this way.

The people did not repent when God corrected them. They had times without a lot of water or food, enemies attacked them, and other problems which God brought on them to turn them back to Him. However, the people did not repent when they were punished. We must always do what God commands and when we do wrong, repent.

Zephaniah called the people to repent. He told them, in Zephaniah 2:1-3, to:

  1. Repent before it is too late. We must not think that we can do wrong and change sometime later. We must do what is right today.
  2. Seek the Lord in meekness. We must  realize that God is in control and should serve Him completely.
  3. Seek righteousness. We must do what is right and learn His word so we can do things that Jesus did.
  4. Seek humility. We must not be proud but realize that God deserves our worship, love, and obedience.
  5. Let us always serve God and remember that He loves us and will take care of us. He is our God!

Lessons from Zephaniah

  • God wants His people to serve Him completely
  • God would destroy Judah if they did not repent
  • God does care what His people say and do and will reward or punish us if we are doing good or doing evil
  • Seek the Lord and desire to please Him

Haggai

Haggai (pronounced like hay-gay-eye) prophesied during the time when Israel had come back from Babylonian bondage and were living in Jerusalem. They had begun building the temple of God but stopped when some of the people in the land told the king over the land—Darius, the king of Persia—that the Jews were up to no good.

The Jewish people should have told the king that they were rebuilding the temple because a previous Persian king allowed them to do it, but they remained silent for a time.

During the time when they stopped building the temple, the continued to build their houses and some lived in very fine homes. However, God’s house, the temple, was still in ruins. Haggai told the people to rebuild the temple. He rebuked them for living in such fine houses when God’s house had not been rebuilt.

Haggai told the people to consider their ways. He wanted them to think about how they were living and how they chose to disobey God. He reminded them that though they had planted much seed on their farms, they did not have large harvests, they did not have enough water, and they were poorly clothed. Haggai said that these things came upon them because they were not following God.

The people listened to Haggai and they came together to finish the house of the Lord. When Solomon built the first temple, it was a beautiful building, very large, with great riches inside and out. Of course, Israel was much poorer now and the temple would not look as beautiful as the temple Solomon built. But God promised them that He would be pleased with it and He would fill it with His glory. The important thing was not how beautiful it was, but that God was there with them.

God promised to cleanse the people when they repented and to protect them from their enemies. Though they had been punished for their wickedness God would welcome them back when they turned to Him. God would watch over them.

Lessons from Haggai

  • We must not let any-thing keep us from keeping God’s will
  • Just as Israel should have built the temple instead of focusing on their houses, we must put the work of the Lord in the church above all things.
  • God will forgive those who repent of wickedness

Zechariah

The book of Zechariah is a book of visions and prophecies that God sent to Zechariah when God’s people were captive in the land of the Persians. The Persian empire defeated the Babylonian empire which destroyed Jerusalem and took the Jewish people captive.

Though God’s people were able to return to Judea, God warned them, through His prophets, not to return to the wickedness that caused God to punish them with the Babylonian army. God told His people that He loved them very much but they had to love Him and only serve Him; not to serve idols.

Zechariah is a wonderful book for Christians for God told Zechariah about Jesus who would come to the earth more than 500 years after Zechariah’s prophecy.

Zechariah saw that Jesus, whom he called Branch, would take away sin in one day. Jesus did this when He died on the cross. He also saw that Jesus would be a priest who would sit on the throne.

This second lesson about Jesus might have confused the Jews. Under the Old Law, the priests could only come from the tribe of Levi, and the kings from the family of David who was of the tribe of Judah. Jesus would be from the tribe of Judah but could not be a priest under the Old Law.

This prophecy pointed to the new law, the gospel, in which Jesus could be a priest and king at the same time and the Old Law would be put away. We do not obey the Ten Commandments or any part of the Old Testament today. However, We can learn much from studying the Old Testament.

Zechariah also prophesied about Jesus coming into Jerusalem on a small donkey which Jesus fulfilled, Matthew 21:1-7. He prophesied that Jesus would be sold for thirty pieces of silver. He also saw how Jesus would be the ruler in His new kingdom, which we know as the church.

Throughout the book, God warns the people to put away their idols, to do good instead of wickedness, to take care of the weak among them, and to have love for others. These lessons we should learn and practice today for the gospel teaches us to do this as well.

Zechariah can sometimes be hard to understand but it is not impossible to know what his message is. As you learn more and more about the Bible, this book, and all books of the Bible are easier to understand.

 Lessons from Zechariah

  • God can punish His people when they are wicked and forgive them when they repent
  • God’s plan for salvation through Jesus was revealed by many prophets hundreds of years before Jesus came to the earth
  • We must live holy lives before God and obey His commands

Malachi

The book of Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament.

Malachi carried a sad message from God to the people. They said they loved God but they did not obey Him. God told the people that children on earth show their fathers respect but they had not shown Him, their heavenly Father, respect.

The people did not bring the best animals to sacrifice to God like the law commanded them to do. The people should have brought the best because they were bringing the animals in worship to God. Instead, the people brought animals that were sick or ready to die. God said that He would not accept their offering. We must remember to offer our best when we come to worship God.

The people also whined that worshipping God was a weariness, or tiring. How sad and angry it must make God feel when our parents say, “It is time to go to worship,” and we whine, “Do we have to?” It is a wonderful thing to sing praises to God and learn about Him from His word. Even though the people came to worship, since they did not want to be there, God did not accept their worship.

The people did many other things that Malachi told them to change. They were not faithful to God, they called evil things good, and said that God accepts evil things. Even today people, sometimes religious people, will say that something pleases God when God, in His word, said not to do it. Some say it is sometimes ok to lie when God says not to lie. Some say that it is ok to not go to church when God said that we should not miss worship as some people do (Hebrews 10:25).

Malachi ends his message with hope. He tells of a preacher like Elijah the prophet who would turn the hearts of people back to God. He was talking about John the Baptist who, 400 years later, prepared the hearts of the people to worship Jesus. Jesus is our last hope for if we do not follow Him, we cannot please God.

I hope you liked the study of the prophets. Many young people do not know about the prophets and that is sad. Keep learning and growing!

Lessons from Malachi

  • We must respect God
  • We must give our best in worship to God
  • We must not whine when we go to worship
  • Do not call evil things good
  • God would send John the Baptist to prepare people to obey Jesus

Books of the Old Testament Summaries: Major Prophets

Isaiah

The prophet Isaiah is one of the major prophets of the Old Testament. He is called a major prophet because he wrote a very large book. The minor prophets did not write long books.

When Isaiah prophesied,  the nation of Judah was not obeying God as they should. He prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah in Judah. Under King Ahaz the people behaved very wickedly but during the latter part of his life, when king Hezekiah was reigning, the people started to do better.

During this time God sent the Assyrian army to punish the northern tribes of Israel. Isaiah records a time when the king of Assyria, Sennacherib, and his army surrounded the city of Jerusalem to bring it under their control. The Assyrian king made a mistake when his messenger said that God could not deliver the city out of his hand. Isaiah told King Hezekiah to not worry; that God would teach Sennacherib a lesson. That night one angel went into the camp of the Assyrians and killed 186,000 soldiers. Sennacherib took his army back to Assyria.

Isaiah made many Messianic prophecies. A Messianic prophecy is a prophecy about Jesus. Messiah means “anointed one” and is the same thing as Christ. When a person became a king or priest in the Old Testament they were anointed with oil (a special oil was poured on their head). Since Jesus would be a king and a high priest in heaven, the prophets called Him the anointed one, or Messiah, or Christ—they all mean the same thing.

Isaiah made prophesies about Jesus’ birth, life, and death about 700 years before the events took place. The prophesies of Jesus’ death are filled with great detail. Isaiah 53, a prophecy of Jesus on the cross, describes the crucifixion from Jesus’ point of view. It also talks about how Jesus willingly died so that many might have eternal life through His death.

Isaiah also prophesied about the church. He wrote that Jesus would set up a kingdom that would not be destroyed. This kingdom, the church, would be a peaceful kingdom and the people would love one another. Of course, God expects us to be kind to others in the church and to do what we can to help them. In doing good, we please our king, Jesus.

Lessons from Isaiah

  • God wants people who are sinning to come back to Him so He can forgive them.
  • God promised Jesus Christ would come and save people from their sins.
  • Jesus would set up a kingdom, the church, that would not be destroyed.

Jeremiah (and Lamentations)

We often study about God’s people, the Israelites.  You may remember that after King Solomon died, the kingdom divided in two.  Ten tribes became Israel and were unfaithful to God.  The two remaining tribes, called Judah would obey God some of the time and disobey God at other times.  God would punish both Israel and Judah when they worshipped idols and did not obey His laws.  Finally, God allowed the nation of Assyria to take the tribes of Israel away from their homes and live in another country.  God warned the nation of Judah to be faithful or they would also be taken from their homes.

God warned his people through prophets.  One of the prophets sent to the people of Judah when they were wicked was a man named Jeremiah.  Some people call him the weeping prophet because he was sad about the way the people of Judah were disobeying God.  He also wrote a book called Lamentations, a sad look at the city of Jerusalem after God allowed the enemies to destroy the city when the people would not repent.

God told Jeremiah to tell the people to repent of their sins so God would not destroy Jerusalem.  The people would not listen to Jeremiah.  Sometimes they made fun of him.  A couple of times they put him in jail for teaching God’s word.  One of the times he was put in a large pit that was filled with mud and left to die.  Finally, some people begged the king to let them rescue Jeremiah.  When he began to preach, God told Jeremiah that most people would not listen to him.  However, He wanted Jeremiah to keep preaching to them so that when God’s punishment came upon them, they would know why it happened.

Though God punished His people by letting another nation take them from their homes and destroying the city of Jerusalem, He loved His people very much.  He wanted them to love Him and keep His law.  God told Jeremiah to tell the people that He would allow them to come back to their homes after they had lived in the other nation for seventy years.  After the seventy years God would bring the people back and take care of them.  The people learned their lesson because they did not serve idols any more.

Jeremiah also prophesied about Jesus many hundreds of years before He was even born.  He talked about Jesus coming to be a king over His people and bringing salvation to all people.  Of course, Jesus does have a kingdom—the church and because He died for our sins, we can be saved.  We can learn much from Jeremiah.

Lessons From Jeremiah

  • God loves His people very much and is very sad when they disobey Him
  • Eventually God will punish His people if they do not repent
  • Sometimes people will not listen to God’s word but we must still teach
  • Sometimes people are mean to God’s teachers

Ezekiel

Ezekiel was a prophet of God during the time that Judah was beginning to go into captivity. He saw some wonderful visions of heavenly things that are recorded in the book bearing his name.

Ezekiel’s book begins with a vision of God on His throne in the land of the captives. Ezekiel did not see God’s real throne but God used symbols, or pictures, to help Ezekiel understand His message. The throne of God that Ezekiel saw was made so that it could travel throughout the world. It was surrounded by heavenly creatures that praised God and served Him.

While standing before the throne, God called Ezekiel to be a prophet to speak to the evil people of Judah. God gave Ezekiel a book, again a symbol, to eat which represented God’s word. The book was sweet to the taste. This helped Ezekiel know that God’s word was precious and good even though the message would hurt the feelings of some who were doing wrong. None of us like to hear that we are doing something wrong but, if we change and do what is right, it is better for us in the long run.

Ezekiel was to act like a watchman on a high tower. In ancient times, the watchman would sit in a tower and look out in all directions. If he saw an enemy coming, he would yell or sound a trumpet to warn the people in the city so they could prepare for battle. Ezekiel would warn God’s people of God’s anger that would come upon them if they did not repent.

One time, God took Ezekiel to the temple in Jerusalem where the people were supposed to worship God. He took Ezekiel into a basement where the priests of God were worshipping idols and doing things that were against God’s law. Though their sin was hidden from some men, God knew what they were doing and would judge them. We should always remember that God knows what we are doing even if our parents our friends do not.

Finally, God determined that He would take the rest of the people from Judah and destroy the city of Jerusalem. His presence left the temple and, though Ezekiel, He told the people to prepare for the armies that would defeat them.

Even in His anger, God promised that He would save a small part of the people, the good people, and bring them back to Jerusalem and, eventually, send them His Son who would rule according to God’s will—He rules today!

Lessons from Ezekiel

  • God knows everything that takes place in the world
  • God’s word is always good for us though, if we are sinning, we may not want to hear it
  • God knows when people are only doing good around others but are doing wrong in secret

Daniel

Daniel is one of the more well known prophets of the Old Testament. While a young man, Daniel was taken with the best people of the land to Babylon when king Nebuchadnezzar conquered the land of Israel. Though he was young, he was dedicated to God and determined that even in a strange land with unfamiliar people, he would follow God’s word. The book of Daniel tells us about his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego who made the same dedication to God.
God blessed Daniel with the ability to discern the meaning of special dreams given to people by God. In the Old Testament times, God sometimes revealed a message to a person of importance by way of a dream. He does not do this now since He speaks to us through Jesus as recorded in the Bible (Hebrews 1:1).

The book of Daniel records dreams that he and Nebuchadnezzar had that told about the coming of the great kingdom of God, which we now know as the church. The dreams told about events in the world governments that would take place before God would establish His kingdom that would never be destroyed. These messages provided comfort to Daniel because he knew that God would lead the Israelites out of captivity and back to their homeland. However, there were some visions that frightened Daniel because they told of nations that would be mean to Israel.

The story of Daniel and his three friends demon-strates the strength that young people can have in bad times. It would have been easy for Daniel and his friends to decide to disobey God since God allowed them to be prisoners in Babylon. However, they put their trust in God and God took care of them. Through God’s care they were able to gain positions of authority in the Babylonian gover-nment and, in so doing, bring glory to God’s name. When you are dedicated, you glorify God.

Lessons from Daniel

  • God will punish his people for wickedness
  • God takes care of His children
  • God is in charge of the kingdoms of the world; He will make things work for the good of His people
  • Young people can glorify God by standing for the truth in difficult times

Books of the New Testament Summaries: Letters of Paul

Romans

The apostle Paul wrote the book of Romans as a letter, or epistle, to the Christians in Rome. He had not yet visited them but wanted to encourage them to be faithful.

In the letter, he told how wonderful God was for sending Jesus to die for our sins. Paul wrote that we did not deserve to be saved and that we did not do anything that could earn our salvation.

In the Garden of Eden, God said that the penalty or punishment for sin was death. Since all have sinned, all deserve death. It would not be fair for God to overlook our sin and yet God wanted to save us. When Jesus died on the cross, He had committed no sin and He was God living as a man. Jesus died so that we would not have to die. We deserve to die for our sins but Jesus died in our place. When we obey the gospel, Jesus’ blood washes away our sins so that we can be right with God. This was God’s plan from the beginning.

The book of Romans also instructs in the way we should live as Christians. In chapter 12, Paul wrote to have pure love and to hate things that are evil. He listed many things one should do if he is God’s child.

Paul also wrote that the Christian should obey the laws of the government (unless they would make us break one of God’s laws). He commanded his readers to love one another and do good to others because the Christian has “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Just like we wear clothes, we should “wear” Jesus; we must do the things He would do if He were living our life.

Paul told the Romans to help one another during the difficult times. Sometimes we can help others when they are weak. You might say something to encourage or comfort someone who is sad. You can help them do something that they need done but cannot do for themselves.

Paul ends the letter with a warning to stay away from people who teach false things and who try to cause problems in the church. When people try to divide the church, they are fighting against God and we should not encourage them.
Romans is a difficult book to read but, in time, you may find it enjoyable.

Lessons from Romans

  • God sent Jesus to die though we did not deserve His love
  • Jesus took away the penalty of sin that we deserved for our sins
  • If we are God’s children, we should have proper love and be busy doing the things that God wants us to do
  • We must avoid people who teach false things and try to divide the church

1 Corinthians

Paul wrote 1 Corinthians as a letter, or epistle, to the church in Corinth. Corinth was a wicked city and the church had many problems as members sought to serve God when people who lived around them worshipped idols.

In this epistle, Paul tried to fix several problems within the church. Since Paul used the phrase “concerning the things of which you wrote,” we can assume that Paul was answering questions sent to him from Corinth.

In 1 Corinthians, Paul told them to not to divide into little groups but to join together. He also urged them to learn more of God’s wisdom though many people in the world thought it was foolish. Even in our day many people do not see the wisdom in God’s word.

During the time Paul wrote, the Holy Spirit gave some Christians the ability to talk in languages they had not studied, heal sick people, and preach things revealed directly from God. We do not have this ability now since we have the Bible—the Corinthians did not have the Bible. Paul told them how to use these gifts of the Holy Spirit in their service and urged them not to think they were better than some who did not get the spiritual gifts.

While traveling throughout the region of Asia, Paul was gathering money from Christians to help Christians who lived in Judea who had no food because there was no rain for a couple of years. Paul told them they were doing a good work and that they should make sure to have the money ready when he visited. The Christians took up their collection on the first day of the week—Sunday—and so do we.

Since Corinth was such a wicked city, Paul had to teach the Christians how to be pure. He also told them to change several things they were doing that displeased God and did not make the church look good to their neighbors.

Though they lived in difficult circumstances, and had many problems within, Paul urged them to be faithful to God and to live pure lives. He told them that he might have to be stern with them in order to solve some issues if they did not resolve them by his arrival.

Lessons from 1 Corinthians

  • You can live pure even when others are talking and acting dirty and impure
  • Christians should not be divided
  • God’s wisdom is better than the wisdom of the world
  • Christians should help other Christians in their time of need
  • We must not do things that displease God and make His church look bad

2 Corinthians

Paul wrote this book as a letter, or epistle, to the church in Corinth.

As mentioned in the article on First Corinthians, Corinth was a very wicked city . The Christians had to be faithful in a place where many people worshipped idols and did bad other bad things. The church had many problems as members tried to learn to do good after spending much of their lives living sinfully like other people in the city.

Paul sent the first letter, 1 Corinthians, to correct problems in the church and answer some of their questions. In the second letter, Paul told them he was happy about some of the changes they made and hoped they would continue to grow in the faith.
Some people were saying bad things about Paul. It seems that some people said that he was not as good an apostle as Peter and the original apostles. Paul told them to think about how he lived and what he taught and they would know that he was just like the other apostles.

Paul reminded the church in Corinth to keep saving the money that they were going to send with Paul to help the Christians in Jerusalem who needed food since it had not rained for a long time. He told them to give much because God loves a cheerful giver.

Paul had to tell the church to change some things in order to help them please God. He did this because he loved them and wanted them to be saved.

Lessons from 2 Corinthians

  • A person can please God even if he lives in a wicked place
  • A person can change from a sinful life to a godly life
  • A Christian, he must continue to grow in the faith
  • God loves a cheerful giver
  • Sometimes you need to tell someone you love to change some bad actions but you must do it in love

Galatians

The book of Galatians was written to people who had served God by following the Old Testament and became Christians. When they obeyed, they no longer had to obey the Old Testament rules. Some of the people thought that they must keep the rules in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Paul told the Galatians that if they tried to do this, God would not be happy with them.

Paul said the Old Law was like a teacher preparing the people of Israel—the Jews—for Jesus to come. Since Jesus came they no longer had to follow the Old Law.

Galatia was an area north of Lystra and Derbe. Paul was writing to many Christians in this part of Asia.

In this letter, Paul told how Jesus appeared to him and taught him the gospel. He went out to a desert area for about three years after which he met Peter and James, the brother of Jesus.

Paul told about a time when Peter was acting like he was not friends with some people when another group came into the room. Paul told Peter that he was not acting as a Christian should. Paul was not being mean but wanted Peter to please God. Even very good people sometimes do wrong things and other good people must correct them.

Paul wrote that anyone can become a child of God through faith and obedience to Jesus. God’s children enjoy His care while they live and get to live with Him in heaven after death.

Finally, Paul told the Galatians that if they were Christians that people should be able to see it in their lives. God wanted them to tell the truth, love one another, be kind, and other things that please Him. He told them that selfishness, lying, and other bad behaviors would make God angry. Paul told them not to grow tired in doing good since God would reward them.

Lessons from Galatians

  • People must follow Jesus, not the Old Testament law
  • The Old Testament told about Jesus
  • Even good Christians like Peter do wrong things but can change and do right
  • One can become God’s child by faith
  • If someone is a child of God, his life must be filled with good things, not evil

Ephesians

The book of Ephesians is a letter from Paul to the church in Ephesus. Paul probably wrote Ephesians and Colossians at the same time since they are very similar.

The book of Ephesians tells how Christ is better than all powers in the world and is stronger than Satan. Paul told how Jesus is God who lived life as a man. He also told the Ephesians how Jesus made a way for us to go to heaven when we die if we obey Him.

Paul wrote about the church which is the kingdom Jesus made on earth. The church shows the power and wisdom of God because He was able to build the church even through many people tried to stop Him and Satan fought against Him. Jesus won.
Paul told his readers to be kind and get along with one another since they were all trying to go to heaven. They needed each others help and needed to help others.

Paul told the church to try hard not to sin since that did not please God. When they chose to serve Jesus, they had to quit doing things that were wrong and start doing what pleased God. All that God commanded them would help them live a better life. God knows what is best for us.

Paul wrote that children should obey their parents since this is right and will help them live a long life. Our parents, just like God, want us to be safe and happy which means that sometimes they will not let us do some things because they love us.

Paul compared the church to a husband and wife. Jesus died to save the church because He loved it so much. A husband must love his wife just as much. The church loves Jesus and obeys His commands. The wife must love her husband and know that
God put him in charge of the family. Both must love one another and help one another.

Finally, Paul told the church at Ephesus to arm themselves with the word of God and the spiritual armor to face the attacks of the enemy, Satan. If we will trust God to help us do what is right and pray for strength, God will help us do what is right even when other people want us to do what is wrong. By trusting in God’s power, we can have the victory.

Lessons from Ephesians

  • Jesus rules over all powers on earth
  • God’s people must be kind and helpful to one another
  • We should not do things that God does not like if we want to live a good and happy life
  • God wants children to obey their parents
  • Jesus loved us so much that He died to save us—we must do what He commands

Philippians

The letter to the church in Philippi has often been called the letter of joy. Several times Paul urges the church to rejoice in the Lord. Even though Paul was in prison when he wrote the letter he could rejoice that the gospel was still being preached and the Christians in Philippi were faithful to God.

In this letter Paul urged the Christians to not think that they were better than other people. He reminded them how Jesus was better than them but did not act like it. Jesus served others and so those who want to be like Jesus must serve others also. Jesus was not selfish or boastful but wanted to help others. We must do this too.

Paul also told the Christians to behave like God wanted them to since they lived around people who did not love God or follow His word. The Christian must be a light that shines the truth of God’s word to those who are dark with sin.

Though he was in prison and the Christians would be insulted and harmed by their enemies, Paul told them to rejoice since God loved them and would take care of them.

Since Christians must live like Christ, Paul said that it was his goal and that he left behind all the things that used to be important to him and the times that he failed to reach forward to the prize of heaven.

Sadly, Paul wrote of those who did not keep reaching for the goal of heaven and turned away from God. When they left God, these people became His enemies. They were more concerned with things on the earth than the glories of heaven.

Paul concluded the letter by reminding the Philippians to not be worried about anything but to pray and let God take care of the things that they need. If they did this, the peace of God would rule in their hearts.

He also reminded them to let their mind think about things that are pure, lovely, noble, and good. When one focuses on the good things he is able to develop good thoughts. When we watch TV, play video games, listen to the radio, or read books, we must choose things that are good and pure. Things that are dirty, foul, and wrong will pollute our minds and our souls.

Lessons from Philippians

  • Rejoice even in the bad times
  • Do not think you are better than others but serve others
  • Let all people see you live like Jesus even if they treat you badly
  • Make heaven your goal and reach for it
  • Pray to God so you may have peace
  • Let your mind dwell on pure, good, and holy things

Colossians

The book of Colossians is a letter from Paul to the church in the city of Colosse. Paul wrote the letter from prison and apparently wrote the book of Ephesians at the same time for the books are very similar.

The book of Colossians tells how Christ’s wisdom is so much greater than the wisdom of the world. He also told how Christ is much more powerful than the most powerful kings of earth. Jesus must be praised for his wisdom and power.

Paul warned the Colossians about the dangers of listening to those who claim to be wise but do not give honor to God. Some people think they know more than God’s word and try to use fancy words to teach their wisdom but the wisdom of God is greater even though it is given in simple words.

Paul also warned the Colossians of the danger the Jewish Christians faced if they tried to keep the Law of Moses. When Jesus gave the gospel the Law of Moses came to an end. Even today some people try to keep things in the Law of Moses but Paul says we cannot do it and please God.

Paul also warned them against the sins of the world and told them to act like Jesus. There are many things that people do that makes God sad and angry. He wants people to act like his son.

A final danger Paul warned them about was a false show of religion. A person can act like they love God but in their heart and lives do what is wrong. True service to God requires a changed life, focusing on Christ above, and being kind to one another.
Paul urged his readers to be kind to others and forgive others just as God forgave them. By doing this they would have peace in the church.

Paul encouraged the Colossians to live as Christ would in their family. Husbands and wives must love each other and the children must be obedient to their parents.

Finally, Paul wanted the Colossians to act proper when around people who were not Christians so they could be a good example. He told them to let their words by holy and encouraging which brings glory to Jesus.

Lessons from Colossians

  • God’s wisdom is greater than the world’s wisdom
  • Jesus is the most powerful being in the whole universe
  • Those who love God must not follow worldly wisdom or the Law of Moses
  • Those who love God must live and talk like Jesus would
  • God’s people should be good examples to all people

1 and 2 Thessalonians

Paul wrote two letters to Christians in the city of Thessalonica. In the first letter, he wanted to encourage them because they knew that what Paul was teaching was the word of God and they obeyed it. After they obeyed, the enemies of God began to treat them badly. They remained faithful to God and were a good example to Christians in countries around them.

Paul and some men who traveled with him had to get out of Thessalonica because the enemies did not want him to preach. The Christians who were left did not give up and it made Paul feel great. He prayed that God would help them to continue to grow stronger.

Paul warned them to always be ready for Jesus to come again to punish the evil and take the good people to heaven. Some people think that Jesus is not going to come back or will come some time in the future. Paul told them to always be ready because Jesus would return when no one is expecting Him and will punish those who are doing evil.

In his second letter, Paul again reminded them to be faithful even when God’s enemies were not treating them well. He told them that even though they had strong faith and love for each other, they still needed to grow in faith and love. The Christian should never stop growing.

Paul told them that some day Jesus would come and punish those who were mean to them and give them a life in heaven with God.

Paul warned them that people would begin to teach many false things and some would follow their lies instead of the truth of Jesus. He wanted them to know the truth so they would not be led away by evil men.

Paul told the people to not be close friends with people who said they followed Jesus but did not follow the truth. They did not work like they were supposed to do and thought the other Christians should feed them. They were lazy and Paul said to avoid them so that they would not sin with them. Whenever they could they should try to teach these people to do what is right. Paul wanted them to obey and not give up.

Lessons from 1 and 2 Thessalonians

  • Stay faithful when people mistreat you
  • Always be ready for Jesus’ return
  • Always grow in faith and love
  • Know the truth so you will not follow the lies of evil men
  • Do not make best friends of people who are doing wrong
  • If you do not work you should not eat; do not be lazy

1 and 2 Timothy

Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy to warn him about false teachers and encourage him to stand firm on the word of God.
Timothy was a young preacher who traveled with Paul on his last two preaching trips. Paul considered Timothy his son in the faith. In 1 Timothy, Paul urged Timothy to teach men and women how to worship and behave in the church. He told Timothy to organize the church with elders and deacons. Finally, he gives Timothy instructions on how Christians should live in various relationships and be content with their lives.

Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy to encourage him to remain faithful when people tried to harm him because he was a Christian. He also warned him about false teachers who would teach wrong things that Timothy must not follow and that he needed to correct.

When Paul wrote 2 Timothy, he knew the Roman government would soon kill him for being a Christian. Paul reminded Timothy to follow his example in faith and work. Paul warned Timothy of false teachers who would rise up teaching things that are an insult to God things but through study of God’s word, he would be able to see the errors and preach against them.

He urged Timothy to preach the word when people wanted to hear it and when they did not want to hear it. As you read the end of Paul’s letter you can feel the sadness of Paul as he felt death was near and wanted to see his young friend again. Paul was not afraid of death for he knew that when he departed he would be with the Lord.

The books of 1 and 2 Timothy are very encouraging books especially for young Christians to read. Paul warned Timothy to stay away from some sins that young people often commit. Paul knew that even though Timothy was young he could do many great things for God.

The letters to Timothy remind us how important it is to study the Bible. As we study more we are able to see what is false and what we must avoid. Even at a young age Timothy had strong faith because he learned God’s word and lived it.

Lessons from Paul to Timothy

  • Men and women must know how to behave in the church
  • Christians must act like Christ in every part of their life
  • We must be faithful even when others might harm us
  • We must know God’s word so we will not follow false teachers
  • Young people can do great things in service to God

Titus

Like the letters to Timothy, the letter to Titus is a letter from Paul to a young preacher. Paul told Titus to go to the island of Crete and appoint elders over each church.

He told Titus to preach to the members old and young, men and women. At the end of his short letter, Paul encouraged Titus to remain faithful and to be a good example to everyone in the church.

Paul wanted Titus to teach young people to have self control and “in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works.” Titus wanted young people to do good works–they were not to young to serve God. In their faith he wanted them to be genuine, reverent and incorruptible. What does this mean? He did not want them to pretend to follow Jesus but to really follow Him. Reverence is showing proper respect for God by behaving in worship and remembering that you will answer to God for how you live.

He also told Titus to teach the truth so that people would not leave God to follow false teachers. Even though the people taught false things, Titus was to be wise and humble when teaching the truth.

Lessons from Titus 

  • The gospel message has lessons for all people at all ages
  • When you are young, be a good example to the old and young
  • Show respect for God in worship and life
  • Teach against false things boldly but with humility

Philemon

The last letter of Paul in the Bible is the letter to a man named Philemon about his runaway slave Onesimus.

During Paul’s lifetime some people owned slaves. Onesimus was a slave that ran away from his master Philemon. He went to Rome and while he was there he met Paul. Paul taught Onesimus the gospel and he became a Christian. Onesimus was very helpful to Paul who was in prison in Rome but Paul felt that he must send him back to his master, Philemon.

Paul sent Onesimus with this letter in which Paul urged Philemon, who was a Christian in the church at Colosse, to receive him back kindly, suggesting perhaps that his escape was a way that God used to help Paul and save Onesimus’ soul. Paul further asked that Philemon release Onesimus from his slavery for he felt that Onesimus would be useful in the kingdom of God. We do not know if Philemon freed Onesimus but out of respect for Paul I would like to think that he did.

Lessons from Philemon

  • Show respect for God in worship and life
  • Confront difficult situations  boldly but with humility
  • Though we may not understand why some things happen, God can make all things work for good

Books of the New Testament Summaries: Gospels and Acts

The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)

The New Testament begins with four books, called the gospels. The gospels tell the story of Jesus’ life. They do not contain everything that Jesus did or said for John said that the world could not contain everything that could be written about Jesus (John 20:30-31; 21:25). They do tell us enough to teach us about Jesus, develop our faith, and learn how to live.

The book of Matthew, written by the apostle of the same name, seems to be written primarily to the Jewish people—God’s people of the Old Testament. He listed the names in the family of Jesus that showed he was related to King David, as the prophets said he would be 2 Samuel 7 (see Acts 2:29-30). He also shows how Jesus was the one that the Old Testament prophets said would deliver people from their sins and be a king over His kingdom (This promised king is called the Messiah).

It seems that wrote to people who were not Jewish. Since the gospel would be preached to the Jews and the other nations (the Gentiles), they needed to know about Jesus. Mark was not an apostle but a preacher who worked closely with Paul and Barnabas. The gospel of Mark contains only 25 verses that are not also found in Matthew and Luke. Though some believe that Matthew and Luke copied from Mark, we must remember that the Holy Spirit was responsible for all of the gospels, 2 Peter 1:21.

The book of Luke is actually a letter written to a man named Theophilus (sounds like the-ahh-phil-us). Luke sent another letter, the book of Acts, to tell Theophilus what happened after Jesus went back to heaven. Luke was the doctor who traveled with Paul on His preaching journeys.

The book of Luke is the only gospel that claims to tell the events of Jesus’ life in the order that they happened. The other gospels sometimes put stories that were alike together. Luke wrote his gospel from the stories of those who knew Jesus (Luke 1:1-4).

The book of John, was written by the apostle to prove that Jesus is the Son of God, John 20:30-31. John’s gospel does not contain any parables and often tell things that the other gospels do not. Throughout his book, John reminded his readers that God proved, through miracles, the Old Testament prophesies, and God’s voice from heaven, that Jesus is the Son of God.

Facts about the Gospels

  • Only Matthew and John were apostles.
  • Mark and Luke traveled with Paul on different preaching journeys
  • John’s gospel does not have any parables
  • Luke wrote Luke and Acts as letters to teach a man about Jesus and the church
  • A large part of Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell about the last week of Jesus’ life

The Book of Acts

The book of Acts was letter written by Luke to someone names Theophilus (pronounced the-off-fill-us). The gospel of Luke was also written to this man.

The gospel of Luke told the story of Jesus’ life and His death for our sins. The book of Acts begins with Jesus going back to heaven and the apostles going into the world to teach the gospel. The book of Acts is a history of the early church.
Though it is called the Acts of the Apostles, the book only tells about the work of the apostles Peter and Paul as well as Phillip who was not an apostle.

The first seven chapters describe the beginning of the church (Acts 2) and its growth in Jerusalem. Acts 8 describes the work of the preacher Phillip and his work in Samaria, not far from Jerusalem.

  • Acts 9 begins with Saul’s persecution of the church. When the Christians were persecuted, they left Jerusalem and went to faraway cities and preached the gospel. While persecuting the church, Jesus appeared to Saul. Soon Saul, whose name was changed to Paul, preached the gospel of Jesus throughout the world.
  • Acts 10 and 11 describes the first time that the gospel was preached to people who were not Jews. This meant that the gospel was the message of salvation for all people, not just the Jews.
  • Acts 12 describes King Herod’s attempt to quiet Peter. However, an angel let Peter out of prison. Later, Herod died because he accepted worship as if he were God.
  • Acts 13-14 describes Paul’s first preaching journey to spread the gospel into foreign cities.
  • Acts 15 describes a disagreement in which the Jewish Christians thought that non-Jewish Christians should keep the Old Law. The apostles, with the authority of God, decided that Christians did not have to keep the Old Law.
  • Acts 16-18:22 describes Paul’s second preaching trip to foreign cities; Acts 18:23-21:16 describes Paul’s third preaching journey. The rest of Acts describes Paul’s trouble with the Jews and a trip to Rome for judgment.

Facts About Acts

  • The second of two letters Luke wrote to Theophilus
  • Tells about the work of Peter, Paul, and the non-apostle Phillip
  • Describes the beginning of the church in Jerusalem in Acts 2
  • Describes the spread of the gospel throughout the world to Jews and Gentiles
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