Hope for the world - 17 January 2020
- Acts 6:7
7And so the word of God continued to spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem grew larger and larger, and a great number of priests accepted the faith.
- Acts 10:47-48
47“These people have received the Holy Spirit, just as we also did. Can anyone, then, stop them from being baptized with water?” 48So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay with them for a few days.
- Acts 11:26
26When he found him, he took him to Antioch, and for a whole year the two met with the people of the church and taught a large group. It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.
And so the word of God continued to spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem grew larger and larger, and a great number of priests accepted the faith.
Acts 6:7 (GNT)
Jerusalem was agog at the amazing news that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. That being so the logical hope was that death was no longer final and the impact that made was felt far and wide.
The number of believers increased by leaps and bounds. Both Jews and Gentiles received the Holy Spirit and were baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. (Acts 10:47-48) It was at Antioch that believers first came to be described as Christians (Acts 11:26)
Flavius Josephus, a Pharisee and noted author and historian was born in AD37. He had this to say about the Christians: “Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, – a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both, many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared alive to them again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. Antiquities of the Jews: Flavius Josephus
“The tribe of Christians” continues to grow today. Christianity is now the largest religion in the world. According to current statistics some 2,4 billion people in the world are Christian, that is about 32% of the world population.
Prayer: All honour, praise and glory be to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Father, may your word continue to reach hearts throughout the world for Jesus sake. Amen