Sunday, July 3, 2022
“Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:4 KJV).
As the Jerusalem Church dispersed due to Stephen’s mistreatment and eventual death, these saints were found “preaching the word” in all the places they went!
Many years back, after a major natural disaster, a Christian travelled with a large group of members of his denomination to help with relief efforts. He was also eager to go door-to-door in devastated neighborhoods to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ—and even pass out Gospel tracts and/or Bibles. Alas, he was stunned to discover those “Christians” never brought even one box of Bibles or any Christian literature to distribute! Here, he was so ready to give suffering people the truths of the Holy Scriptures, but his fellow denominationalists were more interested in passing out food and meeting other secular needs. Doing these “good works” was all they wanted. Where was the Bible in this church group? The Gospel tracts? The sincere desire to see lost people dead in their sins come to faith in Christ alone? It was for this reason my friend ultimately and permanently left that denomination. (We would not meet each other until several years later, upon which time he relayed this true story to me.)
Returning to today’s Scripture, Israel’s believing remnant (except the 12 Apostles; Acts 8:1) abandoned Jerusalem when Stephen’s murderers began tormenting Christ’s followers. Acts 11:19 qualifies, “Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.” They knew how Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry had commanded them to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom once He returned to His Heavenly Father (Matthew 10:5-7,23). When referencing us the Church the Body of Christ in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul wrote, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).
This lost, dying world is hurting and so desperately needs the Word of God’s Grace. Brethren, may we share our Heavenly Father’s desire to reach them while… there is still time.