Please note that my desire is not to present an exhaustive theological discussion but rather a few thoughts in regards to subjects.
“4 Therefore, those who had been scattered went about [b]preaching the word. 5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming [c]Christ to them. 6 The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the [d]signs which he was performing. 7 For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 So there was much rejoicing in that city.” ACTS 8:4-8
This it the sixth installment in our blog series entitled “Discipling Nations”. If you have missed the previous blogs on this subject I encourage you to go to our archives, as I believe it will be a great blessing to you! In a previous blog I shared that the Holy Spirit spoke to me that “When a believer lives out the Gospel as God intends, it’s supposed to have a benefit on society regardless of whether society converts as a whole.” One of the avenues by which we can disciple nations is the practical demonstration of the mind, will, and purpose of God in our sphere of influence. In short we preach the gospel through practical expression, and it benefits society.
Another foundational principle to discipling nations is to be intentional in our declaration of who God is, as well as in demonstrations of who He is. If you look at the scripture above (Acts 8:4-8), we see this in the life of Philip. In a world in which pluralism and multiple world views are trying to define not only the culture of our day but also the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must never back down from strong apostolic preaching.
Let’s take another peak at the above verses. Verse 8 reads, “So there was MUCH rejoicing in that city”. How awesome is that? Much joy came after the preaching of the word and the power of the Holy Spirit. We must understand that we receive the fruit of what God intends when we operate as God intends - and God intends for us to be disciplers of nations. Rejoicing was the result in the city in which Jesus was preached without compromise or excuse. It seems almost contrary to certain thought patterns that are often prevalent today. Be careful how you express the gospel because you could come across as judgmental or offend people.
If we desire the fruit of the early Church we must practice the boldness of the primitive church. It’s very important that we are intentional in our preaching of the Gospel, if we are to be a people who disciple nations. At nearly every opportunity the primitive church preached the gospel without compromise to entire towns and cities.
In this coming season, young and old will stand and preach the gospel publically in city squares, state capitols, and stadiums. We must always function in love but we must never compromise the truth of the gospel. In fact, the most loving we can be is to tell another person the truth. But when we lovingly proclaim that Jesus is the only way and that people need to submit to Him and come into a relationship with Him it offends the mind. The gospel is only good news to those who choose to receive its message for their lives. But we must proclaim His good news!
My prayer in this season is that the Holy Spirit will fill you with great boldness – not to change people through intellectual conversation - but through the power of the Holy Spirit. The father is releasing boldness upon us to use the tools He has granted us to be discipler of nations.