Scripture Reading: Acts 11:19–21
A. While our nation may be sharply divided today along the lines of politics, race, or gender, first-century Palestine was far worse.
B. The early church was populated by people who were brought up in a climate filled with suspicion and hatred. How was this group going to carry out the Great Commission to go into all the world?
I. The gospel has the power to transcend every man-made barrier.
A. In the beginning the gospel was carried exclusively to the Jews (Acts 11:19–20; cf. Ephesians 2:14–16).
B. The gospel tore down racial barriers that were standing in its way (Acts 8:5, 27; 10:28).
C. The gospel overcame social boundaries of all sorts (Acts 6:1–6, 9; 16:13–15; 9:15).
D. The gospel took down walls built upon old superstitions (Acts 3:1–8; cf. John 9:1–3).
E. The gospel compelled men to lay aside their fears (Acts 9:13–14, 26–30; 18:9–10).
II. It is our responsibility to take the gospel to all who need it.
A. We need to fill our community with it (Acts 5:28; Matthew 28:19–20).
B. We need to endeavor to take it places it has never been before (Romans 15:18–20, 28; Matthew 22:9).
C. The gospel still has the power to change the way we look at people (Philemon 16; Romans 14:15; 1:14–16).
A. If I truly understand how hopeless my situation is without Jesus’ sacrifice, it will make me more willing to share the message of that sacrifice with those in the same desperate situation.
B. It isn’t just for people just like me; I need to share it with everyone!