Roughly two-thousand years ago in Jerusalem during the festival of Pentecost, God’s Holy Spirit poured out on one hundred and twenty followers of Christ and then three thousand more individuals. It was there and then God imparted His power on the people of God to witness, a power God intended to carry the church into the world. It was there and then God intervened theologically into his creation. It was there and then God created a living organism—the body of Christ, His church, filled by His Spirit. God birthed a magnificent obsession in the hearts of three thousand new believers who returned to their homes throughout the Roman Empire. This was a turning point when God changed the course of history through God-empowered believers, with obsessive level core values for Christ and His Good News. This God-obsessed church must be our model to change current history.
God had gone before His children to prepare a means of global interaction. God did not make this strategic preparation through Christians, yet He provided for them. The Roman political system allowed for relative safe and rapid travel. The Romans had built a network of quality stone and gravel roads throughout the empire and protected them with a dispersed military and an empire without internal borders. This peaceful time allowed for safe commercial and personal travel.
God had gone before His children to prepare a means of global communication. When Rome defeated another country, they often took on some of the culture of the defeated nation. In Rome’s defeat of Greece, the Roman culture absorbed so much of the Greek culture that history referred to it as the Greco-Roman culture. With the Greek culture came the Greek language understood by the educated people throughout the entire Roman Empire. With this common language came God’s provision of global communication for His people.
God had gone before His children to prepare a means of global strategic locations for missions and business. God began to scatter the Jewish people during the Assyrian and Babylonian conquest. During the Persian rule, while many returned home, many stayed because they had families, jobs, or businesses. More Jews moved from Palestine during the rule of Greece and Rome because of the freedom for travel and the freedom to set up and do business throughout the empire. It was from these Greek-speaking Jews that God drew those who encountered Christ’s Holy Spirit at Pentecost and who God -sent back to their homes with the Gospel message.
God had prepared all that the first century Christians would need to do His work. They just needed to let the Spirit-implanted obsession for Christ come out in their lives within the context of all God provided.