Sunday, June 14th, 2009
"These men that have overturned the inhabited earth are present here also." (Acts 17:6)
Early missionaries helped many to embrace Christianity. Philip, for one, went to Samaria, where crowds paid attention to his words. (Acts 8:5-8) Paul traveled widely with various companions, preaching the Christian message in Cyprus, parts of Asia Minor, Macedonia, Greece, and Italy. In cities where he preached, multitudes of both Jews and Greeks became believers. (Acts 14:1; 16:5; 17:4) Titus carried on a ministry in Crete. (Titus 1:5) Peter was busy in Babylon, and by the time he wrote his first letter, about 62-64 C.E., the activity of the Christians was well-known in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. (1 Peter 1:1; 5:13) What exciting times those were! So zealous were those first-century Christian preachers that their enemies claimed that they had "overturned the inhabited earth." -Acts 28:22
(Watchtower issue: 01/15/08, 3:2)
*the speaker today gave an illustration about the preaching work being like a search and rescue operation in these last days, by comparing it with a real-life search and rescue story that happened. (I was taking notes but I didn't write fast enough, so I'm not sure exactly where this earthquake was) It was an 8.9 on the richter scale and killed 30,000 people in 4 minutes. At the time that it happened a father had just dropped his son off at school and after checking on his wife at home, drove back to get his son...but when he got there he found the entire school had collapsed to the ground and was completely flattened. Well he remembered the promise he had made to his son that he would always be there to help him, so despite the grim chances of survival, he started digging in the area where his son's classroom had been. A neighbor came out and said "I know you're distraught but you need to stop digging, your son is dead." but the father kept digging and just said: "Are you gonna help me now?" well then a fire fighter showed up and told the father to stop digging also, saying: "no one could have survived this, so you need to stop digging." but the father said, "Are you gonna help me now?" Then later a police officer came and actually ordered the father to stop digging saying: "You're putting yourself in danger and need to leave it to the professionals." but the father once again said, "Are you gonna help me now?" and just kept right on digging.
-Well after 38 hours of digging the father moved aside a boulder and found his son still alive along with other children in his class who had somehow been protected from the falling debris by a structure or something in the location where they were huddled together when the earthquake hit. And the boy said to his classmates "I told you my dad would find us."
Isn't that incredible? So just like the early Christians in the 1st century, no matter who tries to persuade us to stop -by telling us its hopeless or useless to go on...we can't ever give up trying because lives are involved.