How did the gospel spread so quickly throughout the Roman Empire during the first century?
The spread of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire during the first century was an unprecedented epoch in world history. Never before had such a small, marginalized social movement gained such rapid influence. For those of you who are not familiar with church history, by the end of the third century the Roman Emperor Constantine declared that Christianity would be the official religion of the empire – primarily because most of the inhabitants had already become Christians!
How did this happen so fast and quickly? Well, the obvious answer we see from the book of Acts is that the Spirit of God was active in the life of the early church in a unique and powerful way. However, along with the Spirit, the lives of the early Christians in Acts were also characterized by what I consider to be the two keys to their spiritual success: a personal passion for Jesus Christ and intentionality in building relationships with others whom they could share Christ with. Humanly speaking, these are the key biblical ingredients to gospel expansion, and all throughout the book of Acts we find both the Apostles and other Christians living them out to the glory of God and salvation of their communities.
This coming Sunday, we will continue our study of the five missional practices we are exploring through the acronym of BLESS. This week we will look at the letter “E”, which stands for “Eat Together”, and talk about how to spread the gospel throughout Clay County by passionately pursuing Christ and intentionally engaging our friends/neighbors with acts of hospitality. We will also hear a personal testimony from Heath and Mikhaela Craig about how they are seeking to do this together as a couple. My hope is that this Sunday will inspire us all to become more intentional about connecting with the people whom God daily brings into our paths.
See you Sunday!