Wednesday, March 11, 2009

See this? This is this. This ain't something else. This is this.

Early on in my Christian life I was made aware of the words of Jesus in Acts 1:8, even memorizing it.
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Like many, I was taught that my Judea was College Station, my Judea was Texas, my Samaria was the US, and the end of the earth was ... well, the end of the earth.

But is that a valid interpretation/application?

But, what if Jesus simply means for His witnesses to carry the gospel message from Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and then all over the earth?

In other words, what if my we're actually carrying out that last bit by evangelizing in Texas, or wherever you happen to be, presuming it's not Jerusalem, Judea, or Samaria?
*Some good comments motivated this cogitation: Should churches rethink their evangelization strategy, particularly with a MUCH greater emphasis on the places where the gospel has yet to be (i.e., the end of the earth)?

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At 11 March, 2009 12:37, Blogger Strong Tower said...

That's right. We Amurkins as the uttermost parts.

Why do we have a penchant for rewriting the prophecy of promise to fit our context? Why can't we be content with whatever and wherever God has done what he is doing?

Beats me ;)

This mornings local radio hosts promoted a conference which is going to show people how to come out from Babylon's system to survive the economic break down. Um, somehow I don't think investments in God's kingdom was meant that way.

Oh well.

At 11 March, 2009 13:03, Blogger Bro. Jeff Hallmark said...

Here is how I memorized Acts 1:8
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

With the word "both" meaning at the same time.

At 11 March, 2009 13:38, Blogger GUNNY said...

In other words, since the gospel has been to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, is not our application really to ensure the gospel continues to the ends of the earth?

Here's what I think most American churches/people do: Spend a lot of resources on their local community (i.e., what they deem their Jerusalem), some in their state, and a little bit on international missions.

If the popular multifaceted approach is valid, so is that. But, if we're to be about spreading the gospel throughout the ends of the earth, shouldn't the mission be primarily to get the gospel where it has yet to be?

Just been cogitating ...

At 11 March, 2009 14:29, Blogger Strong Tower said...

I don't think that the GC was meant to be pattern-istical. That is, it is revelatory. The road to Emmaus, Jesus does what he will command, beginning with all that was written he explained everything which had to do with him. So the disciples began in Jerusalem where they were commanded to begin that work of teaching and living. The out working of that is the spread of the Gospel. The one naturally follows the other. Instead of looking toward the end we are to look up for our redemption draws near.

So yes, we are already at the ends of the earth, now what? Well it is the same pattern. Look around, in your neighborhood, city, county, state, the same thing remains to be done, command men everywhere to repent and believe.

We forget that we are a foreign mission, and as Rev Galyon resently posted (I think it was there) the foreign missions are no less capable than we are in perfecting the work. What needs to be done is to establish them as Paul did, and "leave them behind" to set their own house in order. The homestead will continue to produce a crop and farm out its children, like leaven, leavening the whole loaf. Quaint name for the world, a loaf, eh?

Like you, just thinking...

At 13 March, 2009 17:59, Blogger Rev. said...

I believe it is a valid application. However, as we see in the Apostle Paul's epistles, we should also aim to go (or support work) in places where "Christ is not yet named."

Good bit. Nice globe! ;)

At 14 March, 2009 08:20, Blogger Lance said...

As much as our churches stress "vision statements," which look outward and forward, it would seem that the goal of this "vision statement" by our Lord is ultimately focused where He has not yet been proclaimed.

Much of what the American church calls its "Judea" ends up begin believers looking for a better gig, rather than unbelievers in need of a Savior.

At 14 March, 2009 20:55, Blogger GUNNY said...

Yeah, I think there's a part of me concerned American Christianity is doing far too little with regard to getting the gospel where it's never been.

I wonder if the Plano, Texas, US, world mindset contributes to that ... or not.

I have heard the, "We've got enough to do right here" comment before, so I don't know.

Yet, there's a tension, because it's unsat to write a check or kick a few bucks to Lottie Moon and feel we've done our part, all the while neglecting those God has put in our immediate context.


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