Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
The work of the Church is intended by God to call people to receive God's word. In Acts 8:14-17, the people of Samaria had received God's word. The apostles who were in Jerusalem wanted to be sure the Samaritans were in Christ. Apparently, in verse 16, the Samaritans had not shown some sign which was expected of those who had believed. The apostles laid hands on those Christians and they received the Holy Spirit. They showed the evidence the apostles could recognize.
We may not always recognize someone's trust in Jesus at first. It's very hard to read some people's reactions. This includes their reaction to the Gospel. We speak the truth of God. Some people hear. They might respond positively or not. And they might not let us know in any way we can identify.
Regardless, we do the same thing. We encourage them, we pray for them, we continue to care. The person who has heard the Gospel continues to hear. At some time, by God's grace, we hope to discern a positive response.
The Word of God and the Holy Spirit will not be hindered. God is working to draw all people to himself by the Gospel of Christ. He boldly proclaims forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God as a free gift. This is God's gift to the Samaritans and his offer to us as well.
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