Two questions plagued the minds of the earliest believers: “What does it mean to be a follower of Christ?” and “Should the Christian faith be proclaimed outside the borders of Judaism?”
Jesus answered both questions at His Ascension:
You shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
The entire book of Acts follows this pattern. First, the gospel was preached in Jerusalem. Thousands believed and the good news spread into the Jewish territory surrounding Judea. Then, Philip preached the gospel to the Samaritans, who were half Jew, half Gentile. Finally Peter, by the leading of a vision from the Holy Spirit, preached to a Roman Centurion—and the gospel was spread to the Gentiles.
In Acts 13 we find the first intentional church-commissioned effort at the evangelization of the nations. Continue reading