“Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.” Acts 8:4 (Read Acts 8:1-4)
How hard it must have been for the believers in Jerusalem during the days when Saul (whom we know as Paul) persecuted the church! The Bible tells us that this was a time of great persecution against the church at Jerusalem, that the believers (except for the apostles) were scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria and that Saul made havoc of the church, entering into the homes of believers and dragging off both men and women to prison (Acts 8:1-3).
Think what it would be like if this were to happen to you today – if you could be arrested, imprisoned, tried and even put to death just because you believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and follow His teaching! The day could easily come.
Yet, even through all this sin and evil on the part of Paul and others (cf. 1 Tim. 1:12-17), God brought about good. “Those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.”
Jesus had commanded His disciples to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16; Cf. Acts 11:19; Romans 8:28).
Persecution scattered the believers and spread God’s saving word.
What about us today? Are we not scattered over a wide area? While this may make it more difficult for us to gather together for worship and study of God’s Word, could it be that God has permitted us to be scattered over many communities so that we bear witness and preach the Word to more people? When we consider all that Christ has done for us – how He became true man, fulfilled the righteous demands of God’s Law for us and then suffered and died on the cross for our sins to redeem us and give us everlasting life with Him in heaven – how can we help but spread the Word everywhere and “speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20)?
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we know that You have commanded us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel of salvation to every creature. Grant that we who are scattered abroad for various reasons may go everywhere, preaching the good news of forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation in Jesus Christ, knowing that “he who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. permission. All rights reserved.