Acts 8: Counterfeit Gospels

This entry is part 80 of 106 in the series 365 Key Chapters of the Bible

No one asks for persecution. But God in His wisdom has made it so that when anyone persecutes His Church, it is like taking seed and scattering it so that it goes everywhere. This is what happened in Acts 8.

Just before His ascension, Jesus had promised His disciples that they would be His witnesses “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NASB). In Acts 8, Saul’s persecution helped fulfill that promise, as many followers of the Way scattered from Jerusalem and brought their witness to Samaria.

One of these disciples was Philip, whose preaching, which was accompanied by signs and wonders, led many Samaritans to believe in Jesus.

But wherever the truth goes, there will also be counterfeits. When Simon the Magician saw the wonders Philip did, he desired the same power. However, he wanted these things not for God’s glory but for his own. The church faces this danger in every age. Some will proclaim Christ faithfully, but others will pretend to proclaim Him in order to achieve their own ends.

Nevertheless, all the devil can do is create counterfeits that twist the real thing. He has no power to stop the progress of the gospel. Therefore, in the latter part of Acts 8, when Philip proclaims the gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch, the eunuch immediately repents, receives the Holy Spirit, and is baptized. This would become the usual pattern as the gospel went forward in Acts.

Watch part 80 of the 365 Key Chapters of the Bible series, based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture. 

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