By Ptr. Askel dela Cruz
In a study of church history, a list showed some factors that contributed to the spread of Christianity. The Pentecost pilgrims came from different provinces of the Roman Empire. The road interconnected the whole empire thus it became easier for the disciples to travel around. Koine Greek was the widely known language spoken thus communication became easier. As the writer of Ecclesiastes shared, ‘all things are beautiful in His time.’
But the main ingredient in the global evangelization was the disciples lead by the apostles. When empowered by the Holy Spirit, they showed boldness in sharing the gospel to everybody. The religious leaders during their time also cannot dispute the truth they preached. As Paul puts it, God chose the seemingly insignificant people to supernaturally perform God’s work. According to the people then, ‘they turned the world upside down.’
Here are the things they did in their evangelization. These fundametal things that happen before and after the day of Pentecost are still true today.
They remained together. From the Mount of Olives, the disciples together with the eleven apostles proceeded to an upper room in Jerusalem. They waited together. One hundred twenty disciples were present in that fateful day when the Holy Spirit came. Led by the apostles, they fulfilled the great commission together. At their very first preaching of the gospel, the 3,000 who were baptized remained in fellowship to them. When they evangelized, those being saved were added by the Lord to their number. The apostles were examples in doing the Lord’s work. In John 17, the Lord prayed for unity to the first disciples and to those who will believe in the message they preached. Apostle Paul’s appeal to the Corinthian brethren was to be perfectly united in mind and thought. It was shown wherever the disciples went throughout the empire, they preached the good news. They remained in solidarity with the cause of God through the His sent ones.
They prayed. Jesus Christ told the disciples to wait for the power on high. They waited. They tarried. No one knew when the Holy Spirit will come, still they hold on the promise of the Lord. When the appointed time came, they were still gathered in the upper room.The Church was empowered to be Christ’s witness. And they didn’t stop praying. They pray in every aspect of their service to God. They prayed when they need the right people to lead them. In times of persecutions, they called on the Almighty God who can save them. Prayer goes hand in hand with evangelism. They have the time to preach and the time to intercede. On appointed times, they went to the temple to pray. They have private conversations with God as much as they have corporately raised their voices in supplications. In his letter to Timothy, Paul told that one primary lesson to be taught to the brethren is prayer for all men. The early church lived a life of prayer.
They preached. When the Holy Spirit came the once coward disciples became bold preachers of the gospel. They proclaimed the salvation through Jesus Christ at the middle of the pilgrims. The Holy Spirit enabled them to speak in the different languages of their time. Even at the face of adversity they stood for the Lord. In season and out of season, they still preach. Everywhere they go they share the truth of God’s word. Each one was moved by the Spirit to reach out. As Peter said, the church proclaims the wondrous work of God that they have experienced. Even their lives became living epistles that showed the crooked generation the power of God. Alone or as a group, in speech and in their lifestyle, the Church manifested the power of God to those who believed in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
And in the Pentecostal Missionary CHURCH of CHRIST (4th Watch), we live as a continuation of what the first disciples did. Times may have changed but the work is still the same. We must continue to evangelize the lost and edify the saints in this end of the last days.