Home » Going into all the World

Going into all the World

by Minden Press-Herald

Power to Go:  Tarry here in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit comes upon you…and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in Samaria, Judea and throughout the world (Acts 1:8).  People Who Go:  When the Holy Spirit comes into one’s life and takes control, we are ready and willing to do whatever He leads us to do. We are ready and willing to go wherever He leads us. 

When the early deacons were appointed, anointed and set apart, they began to do just as the Scripture said: ‘they went forth (5:12-16). Deacon Stephen went forth with boldness, ultimately giving his life as a martyr (Acts 7). 

After Stephen’s death, the early Christians dispersed and spread out from Jerusalem. Only the apostles remained there, whereas the newly anointed deacons and other disciples soon were dispersed – going into all the corners of the world.

Deacon Phillip was a bold and consistent witness as well. He was willing to preach the gospel to large groups or to individuals.  He showed us how important it is for us to consistently spread the gospel wherever we go.

Phillip found himself in Samaria—yes, that hated area of Canaan that all Jews despised. Later (Acts 8) we find Phillip in the chariot with the Ethiopian eunuch (in the Gaza region) reading to him from Isaiah about ‘the suffering Savior’. God had set the stage for Phillip to share God’s plan for salvation. The eunuch understood and asked to be baptized. 

As a result of his faithfulness, the Ethiopian eunuch was saved and joyfully took the Gospel with him back to Africa (Acts 8). The accounts in Acts 6-8 should dispel all doubts whether the Spirit of God can and will provide a foundation to speak boldly and consistently for Him. Wow! Just think,“that still happens today” when we go into the world equipped with God’s anointing presence! 

First, we read of Stephen’s bold witness and then Phillip’s experience with the eunuch. Acts 9 now presents Saul’s (a Pharisee) unusual conversion experience. He had just witnessed Stephen’s stoning. (8:1). In 9:1, Paul is presented as a wild man, going everywhere to devastate the believers, even entering their private homes and dragging out the men and women to jail them in the name of God.  This had scattered the believers “everywhere.” The new believers were scattered everywhere into areas they may never have gone alone. Now the energizing power of the Holy Spirit was directing them in unusual manner. The whole world was ‘buzzing.’  

Isn’t it interesting that Phillip was lead to preach in Samaria? The Jews and Samaritans shared a mutual enmity: Jews viewed the Samaritans as half-breeds and shunned all contact with them. They were outside the covenant community; they were inferior and should be shunned. There were two different worship systems; a wall of prejudice separated them. But remember, Jesus, on several occasions, “had to go through Samaria.”  He was using this as great teaching tools about “witnessing to the world around us”.

Stephen was led to preach to the Jewish people with blistering messages. He said things that stung them to the heart. Angry, they stoned him to death. There many miraculous signs and wonders were performed, healing many and expelling evil spirits. Now, Saul is converted in a most unusual manner.

Many times we find ourselves in new and different circumstances: unwanted changes like death of spouse or close family members; changing health situations or financial struggles; just the wear and tear of aging. We can face these circumstances with fear and anxiety or with optimism and excitement that the Lord is opening up another chapter in our lives. As the barriers fell before these men, they began to realize the ‘gospel is for all people’ and not just the Jews. What was happening? The Lord was putting people in front of these men who needed to hear about Jesus. These three men were consistent in letting the Holy Spirit lead them. The challenge for us is the same: Be consistent in our witness. “Let others see Jesus in you! Keep telling the Story, be faithful and true.”  (Hymn; BB McKinney, Baptist Hymnal; pp. 571).

Related Posts