In the book of Acts, we see the advance of the gospel. This was not instant, but was over a period of 30 years from 30 to 60AD and took the following steps:
– Empowering to witness with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (chapters 1-2)
– Growing Jewish church based in Jerusalem with the apostles (chapters 2-5)
– Expanding through Judea and Samaria with the ministry of the deacons and persecution (chapters 5-9)
– Reaching up the coast of the Mediterranean (modern Lebanon and Syria) and to non-Jews (chapters 9-12)
– Extending to modern Turkey with Paul (chapters 13-14)
– Dealing with disagreements over policy and people (chapter 15)
– Widening into modern Greece (chapters 16-21)
– Stretching to Rome as capital of the Empire (chapters 21-28)
It is probable that by the end of the first century, there were Christians in England, although it was to be another few hundred years before it became “mainstream”. And in our time, we can be thankful for those who helped lead us to Christ and salvation! As the church continues to expand, God uses people from all-over for all-over: while Sue and I were away, we met a Korean family who are missionaries to Wales: they were inspired by a Welshman (Jermain Thomas) who was one of the first two missionaries to Korea in the 19th century.
As we join together on Sunday, in our more informal “5th Sunday”, we will be thinking together about our witness and evangelism. Dawn, with the gifting of an evangelist, will be leading us in our thinking and discussions.
May God enable us by the power of the Holy Spirit to be fruitful witnesses in this world!
With much blessing,