Thursday, 7 March 2013

Theme Number 28 The Advance of the Gospel to the Hellenistic and the Roman Worlds

At first the Gospel spread mainly among the Jews after Pentecost especially in Jerusalem and then Judea because of Pesecution.

Then Philip went to Samaria after the death of Stephen and many wonderful things happened there. Act 8:3  But Saul cruelly harassed the Church. He went into house after house, and, dragging off both men and women, threw them into prison.
Act 8:4  Those, however, who were scattered abroad went from place to place spreading the Good News of God's Message;
Act 8:5  while Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed Christ there.
Act 8:6  Crowds of people, with one accord, gave attention to what they heard from him, listening, and witnessing the signs which he did.
The Samaritans were of mixed blood and the Jews were often hostile to them saying they were ‘half-breeds’.
Then the Ethiopian Eunuch was saved on the Gaza Road. Acts 8:27-39

The Persecution scattered the believers from Jerusalem and the chief Protagonist was Saul of Tarsus. Things changed as he neared Damascus and met the Lord Jesus Himself. Now the Chief Persecutor becomes the chief preacher of the Gospel Advance.Acts 9

He preaches in Damascus that Jesus is the Messiah, returns to Jerusalem and is sent off home to Tarsus.
Act 9:27  Barnabas, however, came to his assistance. He brought Saul to the Apostles, and related to them how, on his journey, he had seen the Lord, and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had fearlessly taught in the name of Jesus.
Act 9:28  Henceforth Saul was one of them, going in and out of the city,
Act 9:29  and speaking fearlessly in the name of the Lord. And he often talked with the Hellenists and had discussions with them.
Act 9:30  But they kept trying to take his life. On learning this, the brethren brought him down to Caesarea, and then sent him by sea to Tarsus.

Then Peter is sent by the Lord and a heavenly Vision at midday to Caesarea to the Household of Cornelius the Roman Centurion. The a saved Filled with the Holy Spirit and baptised in water. Acts 10:1-48

The Gospel reaches Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch in Syria.
Act 11:19  Those, however, who had been driven in various directions by the persecution which broke out on account of Stephen made their way to Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, delivering the Message to none but Jews.
Act 11:20  But some of them were Cyprians and Cyrenians, who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Greeks also and told them the Good News concerning the Lord Jesus.
Act 11:21  The power of the Lord was with them, and there were a vast number who believed and turned to the Lord.

For the first Eleven Chapters of Acts Peter is the Outstanding Messenger used by the Lord in advancing His Kingdom. He was the Apostle to the Jews. Then from the Thirteenth Chapter  onwards the focus changes from Jerusalem and the Jews to the Greek and Roman world, from Peter to the Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Paul. Acts 13-28

Truly the key verse of Acts was being fulfilled before their very eyes.

Act 1:8  and yet you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and Samaria and to the remotest parts of the earth.


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