by Jerry Vines

Carrying the Fire
Dr. Jerry Vines
Acts 8:1-4

I read in the paper this week that astronaut Michael Collins was celebrating his 17th anniversary of his flight into space. When I read that I remembered the title of a book he wrote several years ago describing his flight in a space ship into outer space. He titled that book Carrying the Fire. His explanation was that that phrase, carrying the fire, was an apt description of what it was like to travel into space. When you see that you know exactly what he is trying to say. They are literally sitting on top of fire as they are hurled out into space. Space travel has been described as carrying the fire. I think that phrase could also well be used to describe what is taking place in the book of Acts. In the first chapter and the eighth verse we are told that the believers were to begin a fire burning in the city of Jerusalem, they were to set a fire burning in the hearts of men. From there they were to spread out from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria. Then, to the uttermost parts of the earth. So, the believers were to scatter the fire, carry the fire of the Gospel of Jesus Christ until everybody in the world had been touched by the flame. That first chapter, the 8th verse also has a geographical outline to the entire book of Acts. I believe, really, it is the Holy Spirit's divinely intentioned outline of the entire book of the Acts.

In the first seven chapters we have the gospel as it is being preached in the city of Jerusalem. In chapters 8-12 the fire spreads and we see the gospel being carried to Judea and Samaria. Then, when you get to the 13th chapter and to the end of the book you will see that the gospel extends even to the Roman Empire, the known world in that day. Carrying the fire. Beginning where you are, moving out to the regions around and then moving to the ends of the 2 earth. I think that phrase describes what God intends for First Baptist Church of Jacksonville to do right here in this city. This ...

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