138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
Do you ever wonder sometimes what it was like to be part of the early Church during the first or second century? What it was like to be part of this movement of Christianity as it was just getting started, under heavy persecution yet still spreading like wildfire to the "ends of the earth"?
Well, according to many historians, the Gospel was spread pretty much like it still is today: passionate followers of Jesus Christ were empowered by the Holy Spirit to spread the love of Christ to the people in their lives and communities.
In a book I recently read titled Constants in Context, there is a chapter about the expansion of Christianity through 300 A.D. After all the details of the early expansion, the authors sum it up with this: "...the primary means of [Christianity's] growth was through the united and motivated efforts of the growing number of Christian believers, who invited their friends, relatives, and neighbors to share the 'good news.'"
It's pretty amazing to think that God still operates today in the same manner he did nearly 2,000 years ago. I saw this myself a few weeks ago, when I spoke with a gentleman who was doing some work at our Wilkinsburg Campus. When I walked through the door and saw him that day, I could tell something was going on - he had tears in his eyes. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that just the night before, his dad had accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. This gentlemen told me that he had shared the Gospel with his dad, who's been sick.
This man's tears were tears of joy. He had taken the step of faith of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with his father after all these years, and he was so overwhelmed that his dad now has the assurance of salvation found only in Jesus Christ.
Well, we praised God together right there, since there is no better news than someone receiving the good news of Jesus Christ.
I encourage you this week to go and do likewise. Share your faith with those who need Jesus. Whether it's witnessing to your father, giving a meal to a neighbor, or helping serve the homeless in your community, God wants to use you the same way he used the early church believers nearly 2,000 years ago. Remember that you are not alone in this journey of following Christ. You are united with all your brothers and sisters in Christ, including not just your local body but also all those who have come before us - those who witnessed for the sake of Christ and glory of God the Father.
I encourage you this week to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19) and continue the great work that the Church has been doing since Christ himself issued that commandment. You don't have to be a theologian or pastor to lead people to Christ. You just need to be a follower of Jesus who is willing to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to spread the good news.
Let us know in the comments below how you shared the good news, or how someone shared it with you. What ideas do you have for helping others do this? Or for keeping it up yourself? We can't wait to hear your stories.