CXXV. Preaching the Gospel.

ACTS xi. 20, 21.
“And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which,
when they were come to Antioch, spoke unto the Grecians,
preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with
them; and a great number believed and turned unto the Lord.”

THUS simply does the historian tell one of the greatest
events in the history of the Church. It is believed that
we see here the first extension of the message of salvation
to pure heathens.
I. Note the spontaneous impulse which these men
obeyed.
The coals were scattered from the hearth in Jerusalem
by the armed heel of violence.
Such a spontaneous impulse is ever the natural result
of our own personal position to Christ.
True kindliness of heart creates the same impulse. We
cannot truly possess a treasure for ourselves without pity
for those who have it not.
Loyalty to Christ has a similar effect. When we are
true to our Lord we shall feel that we cannot but speak
up and out for Him.
II. This incident suggests the universal obligation of
all Christians to make known Christ. These men were
not officials. They had no command or commission from
Jerusalem. The work of telling Christ’s love to men
belongs to every one who has found out for himself or
herself.
III. Observe the simple message which they proclaimed.
They preached Jesus as Lord from their own personal
experience.
They spake. It was no set address, no formal utter-
ance, but familiar natural talk to ones and twos as oppor-
tunity offered. It matters not whether the cup be gold or
clay if it has in it the water of life.
IV. Notice the mighty helper who prospered the work.
This is the keynote of the book of Acts. It is our en-
couragement when we are despondent, our rebuke when
we are self-confident, our stimulus when we are indolent,
our quietness when we are impatient.
How little any of us know what shall become of our
poor work under His fostering care.
Alexander Maclaren, D.D.

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