OceanSide church of Christ
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I. THE SPREAD OF CHRSTIANITY INVOLVED A WILLINGNESS TO GO
A. Peter and John went into the temple (Acts 3:1)
B. Peter and John told to “go” back into the temple (Acts 5:19-21)
But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to this people all the words of this life. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught…
1. Samaria (Acts 8:5)
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
2. Toward the south (Acts 8:26-27)
the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the
south, unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
And he arose and went…
D. Peter was told to go to Cornelius (Acts 10:11-17).
E. Barnabas and Saul were told to go to the work (Acts 13:2).
And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
F. Paul was called to go into Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10).
And a vision appear to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
II. THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY INVOLVED STRONG PREACHING
A. Against sin calling men to repentance
1. Jews on Pentecost (Acts 2:22, 38)
2. Stephen to the Jews (Acts 7:51-53)
3. Peter to Simon (Acts 8:18-23)
4. Jesus to Saul (Acts 9:4-6)
5. Paul to Elymas (Acts 13:8-11)
6. Paul to the Athenians (Acts 17:30-31)
7. Paul to Felix and Drucilla (Acts 24:24-25)
B. In the name of Jesus (Acts 4:10-12)
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is their salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
C. Instructions to obey (Acts 2:38; 10:48; 22:16)
III. THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY ENCOUNTERED OPPOSITION
A. The Jewish council (Acts 4:18)
And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
B. Beaten by the Jewish council (Acts 5:40)
And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
C. Stephen’s martyrdom (Acts 7:57-60)
They cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city…And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
D. Persecution against the church (Acts 8:1-4)
E. Herod killed James (Acts 12:1-2).
Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
F. The Jews constantly plagued Barnabas and Saul on their first journey (Acts 13:45; 14:5, 19).
G. Paul and company beaten in Philippi (Acts 16:19-24).
H. Opposition in the city of Corinth (Acts 17:11-13)
I. Uproar in Ephesus (Act 19:23)
And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.
J. Imprisoned in Jerusalem (Acts 21:30-33)
K. Paul’s appeal to Rome and his being a Roman prisoner (Acts 25:10; 28:16, 30)
IV. THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANIYT WAS SUCCESSFUL IN ITS EFFORTS
A. The answer given to the question: “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 2:37) was heeded by the masses (Acts 2:38, 41).
B. The early numbers:
1. About 3000 souls (Acts 2:41)
2. Number of the men was about 5000 (Acts 4:4)
3. Believers were the more added to the Lord (Acts 5:14)
4. Acts 6:7
And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
5. Acts 12:24
But the word of God grew and multiplied.
C. Statements made by the opposition show the success of the early church in spreading the gospel of Christ.
1. The Jewish council (Acts 5:27-28)
And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.
2. The Jews in Thessalonica (Acts 17:5-6)
But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of a baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.
D. The book shows us the spread of Christianity from Jerusalem to the Imperial City of Rome.
1. Acts 1:12
Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath’s day’s journey.
2. Acts 28:16
And when we were come to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.
V. THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY UNITED SINFUL MAN INTO ONE BODY
A. All types of individuals obeyed the gospel.
1. Jews out of many nations (Acts 2:9-11, 41)
2. Samaritans (Acts 8:12)
3. Proselytes (Acts 8:36-39)
4. Gentiles (Acts 10:47-48)
5. Women (Acts 16:14-16)
6. Romans (Acts 16:30-34)
B. The saved were added by the Lord to the church (Acts 2:47; cf. Eph. 2:11-22). This was being done daily.
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
A. The first century witnessed the wildfire spread of the gospel throughout the world.
B. Our world stands in need of the same things today. If we do as they did, we, too, will be successful. Multitudes will be added to the Lord. We will turn the world upside down for Christ.
C. Are we equal to the task before us?