It’s fascinating to read the book of Acts and watch the spread of the gospel throughout the known world. It all began with a few disciples in Jerusalem and spreads to several continents by the end of the historical book. It is exhilarating and thrilling to read about the spread from one city to the next. Luke records at the beginning of the book how Jesus encouraged the spread in a conversation with His disciples and how they would be His witnesses.
Acts 1:6-8 – “So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
There are three important factors that we can see at the beginning of the first gospel sermon that helped the spread to be so successful.
Factor # 1 – The Gospel is all about who Jesus is and what He did. Peter makes this obviously apparent with the first few words of the sermon, “Jesus of Nazareth…”. Peter also speaks of Jesus being a “man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst” (Acts 2:22).
If we want it to spread, we have to talk about who Jesus is and what He did.
Factor # 2 – The Gospel is all about what happened to Jesus. Peter says He was “delivered over” and “nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men” (Acts 2:23). When Jesus is preached, the message of His death is essential. (Side Note: There is not one gospel message preached in the book of Acts that does not include this fact. It is a historical fact and absolutely necessary for the spread to be successful.)
If we want it to spread, we have to talk about what happened to Jesus in His death.
Factor # 3 – The Gospel is all about what happened to Jesus after death. Peter says, “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power” (Acts 2:23). It is this historical fact that seals the deal on the importance of the gospel message. Without this important factor, all the previous factors are meaningless. There were other men in Palastine that did good deeds. Other men in Palestine were killed by crucifixion. But there is only one man in the world that was ever killed, buried, then raised, and never to die again. There were several hundred people that actually saw Jesus after He was raised! It is a historical fact! The evidence speaks with great power; Jesus is the Savior!
If we want it to spread, we have to talk about what happened to Jesus after His death.
Our task is the same as the task given to the disciples. Spread it. Let is pass from one person to the next so that it’s gracious, saving impact can be felt in the remotest parts of the world.
I love you,