Upon arriving in Antioch, they called the church together and reported everything God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, too.
- Acts 14:27
The first-century believers in the church of Philadelphia lived under Roman rule. The Romans had established what was known as Pax Romana, which effectively was a forced peace. There was an absence of war, and Rome adopted many of the Greeks' ideas and philosophies and religious beliefs. People were experimenting with these things, and there was a sense of searching among so many.
The Romans also had established Greek as the official language of the empire. They built an excellent road system as well. So with this common language and access to most of the world, the church went out to spread the gospel message. It was perfect in its timing.
Now let's think about our day. In many ways, modern technology has created a global village. Television, the Internet, and mass communication has made the world a much smaller place. I recently read that 70 to 80 percent of the world's population now has a smartphone. We can communicate in ways we never could before. In a sense, we have a common cultural language.
Sometimes in our lives we think only of how much we can get from our study of God's Word and how much we can be blessed in church. That is fine. But remember that we are blessed to be a blessing. If we are only hoarding what God has given us and are not giving out, then we are missing the point.
As one person put it, "Unless a man's faith saves him out of selfishness into service, it will certainly never save him out of hell into heaven."
There are doors that have opened in our lives today. Watch for them. That person who was closed to the gospel last year might be open to it this year. Pray for those doors of opportunity.
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