A word from the author
I remember the thrill of experiencing God’s speaking to me in my early twenties through the Saturday night Bible study run by Leeds Young Life. I had been backsliding and my Saturday nights had been spent in very different ways than studying the Bible, especially after playing rugby each Saturday afternoon. That Bible study was on the Acts of the Apostles, and I have never forgotten how, week after week, I learned more and more of God’s grace to me and of my duty to love and serve my Lord and Saviour wholeheartedly. If reading or studying this book or listening to it being read can help to lead others to Christ, or to come back to Him and also serve Him wholeheartedly, I shall be thrilled again! God’s hand of blessing has been on MarkTime and its associated optional Discussion Course and Correspondence Course. I have followed a similar pattern in writing the book though there is no separate book to explain the Discussion Groups. Instead I have done this in Appendix Two of the book. I have also provided in Appendix One some helpful details about the separate Correspondence Course for any who wish to use it.
The same wonderfully supportive team that helped to get Mark Time off the ground has again helped with Amazing Acts—act one, and I very much hope and pray that, God willing, they will do so again for Amazing Acts—act two (Acts 9:32 to 18:23) and Amazing Acts—act three (Acts 18:24 to 28:31), both to follow soon. So thank you again to David Harding (Milnrow Evangelical Church, United Beach Missions, and The Christian Answer), Derek French (retired from Grace Baptist Mission, but still working hard for Christ at home and abroad), and my wife, best friend and helper, Phillippa. David has helped by suggesting changes to the original manuscript, helping to format it, and has made sure that Amazing Acts, under the title amazingacts.net will be read and listened to on the world wide web, whether by desktop computers, laptops, or any other appliance that can get online. Derek is solely responsible for recording the CDs. Phillippa has helped me right through the writing process, from start to finish. I am also grateful to her for recording the Bible readings as she did for Mark Time. Thank you too to David Fortune (Christian Prison Resources Ministries) for his most helpful inputs, particularly about the Correspondence Course. I am grateful to ‘Chris’ (not his real name) for the very kind foreword, which he provided with no prompting from me or anyone else. He has trusted Christ in a UK prison and such is the change that family members and inmates have come to Christ too. I hope that God will bless you or anyone to whom you give or recommend this book– whether an individual or a group—in the way that Chris has been blessed through its companion, Mark Time. ‘Salvation is of the Lord’ (Jonah 2:9). My hope is that churches, fellowships, groups, missions and prisons will be blessed through studying this amazing book of Acts and that many will put their trust in the Lord Jesus and follow Him in discipleship. At a time when the clouds of opposition to the Christian gospel seem to thicken threateningly in the west, may the message of Acts help more and more people to sort out the things that matter most. We preach the crucified, risen, ascended and coming Lord Jesus Christ knowing that there is no ‘salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). If and when urged to deny or dilute His message of saving grace we must refuse. We ought to obey God rather than men.