The Beginning of the Foreign Missions by J. Gerald Harris

The Beginning of the Foreign Missions
Dr. Gerald Harris
Acts 1:8

In our text for this morning we find the Lord's strategy for world evangelism. He told his disciples that they were to begin in Jerusalem, and then to venture out into Judea, and then to move into Samaria, and ultimately spread the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth. If you carefully study the Acts of the Apostles you will conclude that this strategy of world evangelization was carried out in exactly the order prescribed here.

They started in Jerusalem and we read about it in Acts chapter two. There were 12 disciples of the Lord gathered in the upper room. They had been instructed to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. In Acts 2:4 we read that they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and so with divine power they went out into the city of Jerusalem to proclaim the glorious gospel of our Lord. And when Peter preached that day, he simply gathered in the spoils of victory - and the converts numbered 3000. And concerning that church in Jerusalem, the Bible says "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

The work of evangelizing in Judea and Samaria began in Acts 8:5-6. The gospel is being proclaimed in an ever-widening circle.

But I want you to notice in Acts 8:26 that Philip goes on out beyond Jerusalem, out beyond Judea and Samaria. Notice of the words of Acts 8:26 (read).

And, of course, you know what happened there in Gaza. Philip saw a man from Ethiopia riding in a chariot. This man was the treasurer of the queen of Ethiopia. He was reading the gospel of Isaiah. And from the passage of scripture that he was reading, Philip told him about Jesus Christ and he was gloriously saved.

But this presentation of the gospel in Gaza to a man from Ethiopia marked the beginning of foreign missions in the New Testament.

The scope of Christ's commission to evangelize is all inclusive. We're t ...

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