The Book of Acts comes to a close with Paul in Rome under house arrest, but living in a rented home with a guard. He first invited the Jewish leaders to hear about the Kingdom of God. They listened and were divided.
Their focus became distracted as they started bickering with each other. They were so steeped in their culture, they missed the Messiah and His Kingdom culture.
Paul, quoting Isaiah, made it clear: “You listen, but don’t hear. You look, but don’t see.”
Their focus was skewed by their worldview, embedded in the culture of religion, so deep they missed the faith represented in the Messiah they had been looking for.
So, Paul turned his attention to the non-Jewish people, the gentiles. Yet, the apostle never lost focus. As Acts comes to a close, what is Paul doing? “He urgently presented all matters of the Kingdom of God, explaining everything about Jesus Christ.”
The greatest roadblock to the renewal of personal faith—and a local church—is the religious culture. It is difficult to penetrate with the culture of the Kingdom. It’s easy to reach non-Christians who don’t have the cultural clutter.
It is harsh to say, but nevertheless true: “It is easier to give birth than to raise the dead.” Not impossible for our God of resurrection, just harder.