Throughout the book of Acts, we often read about the apostles’ activities in Jerusalem. In this brief look at their evangelistic efforts in the Jews’ most revered city, we will be focusing on the message of Acts 3-6.
The apostles proclaimed the gospel to common people (Acts 3:11-13), as well as to religious leaders (5:27-32). That sounds like what the Christ had done.
They could not keep the good news to themselves! Their mentality was, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). When God’s people are on fire, great things happen!
The Jewish Sanhedrin accused the apostles of filling Jerusalem with their doctrine (5:28). Yes, they did! Filling the city with their message could not have happened by accident. Indeed, it would have taken a great effort on their part to accomplish such a feat.
The twelve took advantage of opportunities. We know they stood up on the day of Pentecost and spoke to Jews who were assembled from all nations. What else? The apostles preached to a multitude that came together after the healing of a lame man (3:12- 26). They preached to the stubborn Sanhedrin (4:8-12). They taught in the temple (5:20,26). They sought out and took advantages of teaching moments.
It also is written, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (5:42). After being threatened and beaten because of their preaching, the apostles persevered. Those men would not stop teaching! You and I need that kind of commitment.
What else? As we just read, the apostles were proclaiming the Christ publicly (“in the temple) and privately (“in every house”). Each culture is different, and even within a particular culture, attitudes can change with the passing of time. Public preaching still has its place today, but completely relying on public teaching is insufficient. Many of us have learned that getting into person-to-person studies is more effective.
Did you notice the frequency of the apostles’ teaching? They did it daily (5:42). The Master did the same thing (Mark 14:49). There is no doubt: if we would add evangelism to our list of daily activities, that would enhance the church’s potential to grow.
In the face of adversity and open opposition, the apostles boldly declared God’s word to the lost (4:13,31). By faith, you and I can do the same. In fact, that is exactly what our Lord is counting on us to do!
Finally, when the church faced an internal issue, the apostles continued to make teaching God’s word their priority (Acts 6:1-4). That sounds like a plan!
— Roger D. Campbell