When Jesus told His disciples to preach the gospel throughout the whole world, heal the sick and cast out demons in His name, it probably didn’t seem that like much of a big deal to those who loved Him. The world was not that big … or was it? They’d had a lot of practice going out in teams and using the name of Jesus, so they must have been quite confident that once they completed the assignment, the end of the world would come.
Jesus told them to wait before they ran to new preaching grounds, so they waited, but the moment the Holy Spirit hit them … the match was sparked and the fire began to spread.
By the second century Asia Minor, Alexandria, Greece, Rome and Southern Europe had been told the Good News. By 404, Constantinople was alight with passion. In the 300s Ulifas converted many of the Goths, and St, Patrick, St. Augustine of Canterbury and St. Boniface all heard the call of God and obeyed, causing Scotland, Ireland, Central Europe and the Northern countries to have their joy in Jesus alone.
For some reason, the fervor of evangelism died down considerably once the message of Christianity was considered general knowledge, and did not become popular again until the 16th century when new lands were discovered and new masses of pre-Christian souls were available. Once again, Christ’s disciples discovered that the ends of the earth had not been evangelized after all. Canada, Native America, Malaysia, the West Indies, Africa, India, the South Sea Islands, China, and Japan – all were infiltrated with the seed of the Word by the wind of the Spirit.
Most evangelists had changed their evangelistic approach at some point during the Dark Ages, making Christianity more of a message of help and love than a mix of bold preaching and demonstrations of God’s power. Education and medical help became the point of outreach, focusing more on the power of man than the power of God Himself. Despite this attempt by man to ‘help’ God, He still used it to reach the lost.
In 1921, 26 missionary groups joined together to strategize and plan their outreaches more effectively. Cooperation was high among the Protestant churches, and they were so effective that by the 1990s they experienced a lot of tension from the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches of Eastern Europe and Latin America. Certain countries had been stamped with the name of a particular church power rather than with the name of the Lord Jesus, and those in leadership were unwilling to give up their flock to unknown preachers – preachers who were stirring hearts into a new level of faith and relationship with their Savior. Had they but preached Christ and Him crucified and let His Spirit flow freely, there would have been no exodus.
The Gospel was spreading far more rapidly than in previous centuries, and it was because these new disciples had gone back to basics – they were moving in the exact unction given to them by Jesus before He left – they preached, they healed the sick and cast out demons in the power of the Holy Spirit. What had taken others years to accomplish was now being done in days, and now in the 2000s this evangelism express is getting completely out of control ... just the way God likes it!
God has always wanted things done His way. We must be desperate for Him; we must hear His voice clearly, obey immediately, sacrifice all for the sake of His name and depend on Him completely to see His goals and plans accomplished. Only then will the Gospel truly reach the ends of the earth; only then can Jesus come back to claim His bride.
preach the Gospel,
heal the sick and
cast out demons.
Let’s do this God’s way.
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