The statement above was the frantic outcry of the Jewish opposition to Paul and Silas and their followers as they advised the Roman authorities of the danger these men posed who claimed that Jesus was indeed the Christ and King. The story is recorded in the early part of Acts 17.
Have you ever considered how so much was done with so little by so few in first century evangelistic work? Here are some of the things they did not have.
- Social media, a website, email, blog, etc…
- printing press
- church buildings
- seminary/Bible school trained workers
- an intact Old Testament
- a New Testament.
What they did have was:
- The knowledge of Jesus who was God, who had died for their sins and been raised from the dead and promised to raise them too at his return to earth.
- The power and presence of the Holy Spirit
- The invitation to pray for what they needed.
After the events of Pentecost it would be almost 20 years before the first book of the New Testament (James) would be written. And the first of the Apostle Paul’s letters would be a bit over 20 years later as well, and the Acts would be 30 years later.
In the time of Jesus only the very affluent, and/or the well educated would have had any written parts of what we call the Old Testament. There were copies held by the Scribes, Teachers of the Law, and other Jewish officials, but most of what the working class Jews knew about the scriptures they had received orally, not from the written page. It was about 1400 years later that the first printing press was invented.
Peter, empowered by the Holy Spirit, preached Christ to a great crowd in Jerusalem and over 3, 000 people became followers of Jesus. These new Christians were from all around the ancient world and spoke many different languages. Not one seminary degree, not one semester in a Bible college, not one copy of the Bible or a gospel tract, but this group of new believers, along with the Apostles, “Turned the world upside down” in short order.
When you compare those brothers and sisters to us, and our evangelistic efforts…it looks pretty bad for us. With all the advantages we have today that they did not have… and yet, we seem to be losing ground in our own cities and country.
Maybe we should get back to basics. Maybe we should stick to the good news about what Jesus has done for sinners. Maybe we should tell the story in the power of the Holy Spirit without fear. And maybe we should rely on God alone for results by praying like our early brothers and sisters prayed.
People are waiting to hear the good news. Captives are waiting to be rescued.
“Lord help me be a disciple you can be pleased with for the glory of your name”.