“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the Ends of the Earth.” Acts 1:8
Where would we be today if Jesus had told the disciples to stay in Jerusalem or to only go to Judea and Samaria? Would the Good News and Saving Grace of God ever have made it to us? Where would Christianity and Eternal Salvation, THE TRUTH, be today? Where would we be today?
I have been pondering this whole thought a lot lately. Throughout the Bible it is about God, Our Father wanting a relationship for all eternity with us. So Jesus was very deliberate in what he said to the disciples about going to all the world. But what if the disciples would have been as disobedient as we are and said, Jesus said that but we are only going to go to Jerusalem or just to Judea and Samaria. Where would we be today? What if they would have said, we only want to go to Judea, we will let others deal with the other places? Where would be today?
God’s Word is to be obeyed... ALL OF IT. There can be no picking and choosing of what to obey and what not to obey. The disciples knew this and obeyed. Thank you and Praise God that they obeyed and went to all of the areas. The really great part is that their Call was not for the same area but God Called each of them to a different area. Because of their obedience, the Gospel spread and we are a living testimony of that obedience.
Over the last few years there has been a movement by many churches, organizations and other groups to embrace Acts 1:8 as their mantra for missions. I embrace, encourage and applaud this movement because it truly is obedience to God’s Word. But I also caution those that embrace this to realize that not all are Called to Jerusalem or even to the Ends of the Earth. Even within the confines of embracing certain areas, not all are Called there. God Calls each of us to different places and areas. Thus as Jesus did, we must embrace the mission area God has placed on the hearts of all Called. We MUST celebrate their Calling and Praise God for the Calling. It is partly about celebrating with them their obedience, but it more about Praising God that He is using all.
In 1999, God Called me/us to the Ends of the Earth. We did not know at that time the specifics but we knew the Ends of the Earth. In 2001, God called us to the Middle East and that Call has not changed. Although the Middle Eastern region is the primary Call, in being obedient we are to tell people of Jesus wherever and at all times. In Experiencing God Henry Blackaby says that “when we see God at work, we are to join into that work.” So if God is working in any area we are to support, celebrate, and join in that work. That is being obedient.
Obedience is not just for the individuals whom God Calls. It is for all of those that are friends, family, organizations, and churches that are aware of the Call. When we see people called, we are called to pray for them, to encourage them and to support them. It is not an option, it is obedience.
Now back to my original thought. God through his son Jesus Christ created a perfect way to get the whole world to know Him. That is to go to Jerusalem (our city), Judea and Samaria (our state and country), and finally the Ends of the Earth (the whole world). Jesus didn’t say only one area. He knew that He was going to Call each of us to different areas, so it is His plan that we go everywhere.
I would encourage you to seek God. He has Called you to go. God has Called you to be involved with praying, encouraging and supporting those that have answered the Call. Pray about what God wants of you.