The Gospel of God knows no bounds. It spread through the ancient world. It has continued down to our own generation.
Jesus told the disciples that they were his witnesses. And their witness would be to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. So the gospel spread. It started in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. But it soon spread.
Because of persecution it spread beyond Judaism into the Samaritan world. And under the direct command of God, Peter the apostle to the Jews took the Gospel to the non-Jewish household of Cornelius.
It was not long after this that the leading Jew, Saul of Tarsus, was converted. He became the apostle to the nations. So started his missionary journeys around the world. As we follow Paul’s ministry we see God fearers and idolaters, magicians and disciples of John the Baptist being converted. The slave and the free, the famous and the infamous, the soldiers and the sailors – nobody was beyond the preaching of the Gospel.
Paul asked the Thessalonian Christians to pray for him that “the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honoured”. For as the saving message was preached around the Ancient world people came out of darkness into light. They were transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of God’s Son (Colossians 1:13)
And toward the end of his life, Paul wrote to Timothy about the future generations of Christians. He told Timothy to train men who would be able to train others. For Paul knew that the times ahead would be tough, and the gospel had to be handed faithfully from one person to another.
Last week I spoke at a conference and next week I will be speaking at another. Both conferences reflect the unlimited nature of the gospel. Both are about crossing boundaries. One crosses the generational boundary the other crosses ethnic, cultural and national boundaries.
In this last week I have been speaking at a Mid-Year Conference for University students. There are many of these conferences held at this time each year. Most of them are conducted by the Christian ministry on a particular university. The one I attended was held by a group of Universities around Sydney and Wollongong.
It is very important that we challenge the next generation with the gospel of Jesus. The university age is particularly important as the undergraduates come to adult decisions that will lay the foundation of their life in Christian service.
Next week I will be speaking at an international Chinese Christian convention in Macau. This convention has thousands of delegates from around the world. I will be speaking to the English speaking section of the conference. The networking of Chinese Christians is an important part of the growth of the Gospel throughout Asia and into Australia. The thousands of Asians coming into our city each year are an important mission field for the Gospel.
Christianity commenced as a Jewish religion. All the adherents were Jewish. As it crossed boundaries it became a Middle Eastern religion. Over time it became to be thought of as a European religion. Today the face of Christianity is African, and Chinese, and Hispanic.
It is important that we continue to encourage the spread of the Gospel across cultural, ethnic and generational divides.
As a Sunday School child I was taught to sing; Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow black and white, all are precious in his sight, Jesus loves all the children of the world.
These two conferences are just part of the demonstration of that love.