Lifelines July 07, 2019

Christians have been entrusted with the most valuable information imaginable.  Yet, we find it difficult to share.  It is a life or death mission in which we have a twenty-first century role.  Our roots in Jerusalem shed light on the work of the infant church which turned that ancient city upside down.  Perhaps a lesson or two from them could help us create a ripple in our city, too.

“And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ (Acts 5:42).”  It was not an occasional effort or a once a week gathering.  They were busy every day.  Granted, they were in a unique situation, but we can still learn from their perpetual involvement in spreading their faith.  It is an all-the-time mission.

It is also a wherever-you-go assignment.  “In the temple and house-to-house” takes us into all types of environments, from very public to totally private.  The temple would obviously take them into a setting with people who believed in God.  However, their beliefs were incomplete.  Filling in the final chapter of the plan of God may have ruffled a few feathers, but they felt compelled.  Eternal destinations were at stake, and who knows what kind of reception would meet them behind a door.  Nevertheless, they took it everywhere.

Their message was clear.  Jesus is the Christ.  No frills and no fluff.  He had come on His own mission to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).  It was an angelic pronouncement to Joseph (Matthew 1:21).  Shepherds got the word in dramatic fashion on a seemingly ordinary night (Luke 2:8-13).  The Son of God and self-proclaimed Son of Man gave Himself to remedy the sickening sin problem that was wrecking the planet.  People needed a Savior.  There is no other.  They were passionate to tell it everywhere and all the time.

Paul’s reflections with the elders from Ephesus reveal his uncommon commitment: “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24).”  Such dedication would surely communicate in a way that no words could. 

Of course, the words didn’t hurt either and he had much to say, “…I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:20-21).”  He held nothing back (Acts 20:27).  He went everywhere, told everybody and said everything.  He made converts and served jail time.  The road may be a hard one, but it is ours to travel.  People need Jesus.  If we don’t tell them, who will?