With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. (Luke 4:33)
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria…Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. (Luke 8:1, 4)
Those first disciples were on fire. Nothing could stop them. The gospel had implications they understood. Their radical lifestyles were characterized by a sense of urgency and divine purpose. Nothing was more important, and no price was too high to pay.
Many of the first disciples were martyred for the cause, and others rose to pick up the banner and lead the charge. Within three hundred years, the gospel revolution had conquered the Roman Empire and changed the known world.
But two thousand years later, the Christian movement, especially in the global north, has lost its sense of urgency. We’ve lost a sense of the plot and the big story—the arc of history. Affluent, comfortable, and distracted, Christians today seem to have lost the fire to change the world. The work of God’s kingdom lies unfinished, and God’s people seem to have lost their sense of purpose in the world.
There is something terribly disturbing in this.
The very Son of God became flesh and lived among us. He died that we might find forgiveness and reconciliation with God. He commissioned us to bring this same good news to the nations of the world, yet we have failed to deliver. What happened to the revolution?
When you think about the Great Commission, do you feel a sense of urgency? Why or why not?
Father, thank you for giving us such good news to share. Please help me to see opportunities to share it and have the boldness to do so.