In Australia today we’re seeing Christianity shrink back towards being a minority religion. How should we respond? What does God want us to do? How can we help people discover the invisible God?
The Book of Acts traces the development of the church from 120 Jewish believers to Rome. Within 400 years, it had reached Britain, the edge of the Empire. What did Christians do that was so credible while they were still a minority religion? What can we learn from how they followed Jesus?
What is the one thing we should focus on?
Those are the questions addressed in this 36-minute podcast, recorded at Riverview Joondalup 2022-05-01.
Acts 14:27 When they [Paul and Barnabas] arrived [back to Antioch] and gathered the church, they were proclaiming how much God did [in partnership] with them, and how he opened to the nations a door of faith. (NIV)
Acts 28:14–15 And so we came to Rome. 15 The brothers and sisters there had heard that we were coming, and they travelled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged.
Acts 28:31 He [Paul] proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!
Dionysius (bishop of Alexandria AD 247–264):
Heedless of the danger, they took charge of the sick, attending to their every need, and ministering to them in Christ. And with them departed this life serenely happy, for they were infected by others with the disease, drawing on themselves the sickness of their neighbours, and cheerfully accepting their pains.
John 13:35 This is how everyone will know you are my disciples: when you love one another.
1 John 4:7–12, 19
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. …
19 We love because he first loved us.
3 thoughts on “Making God known (podcast)”
Loving, selfless secularists can also show deep compassion and profound care. Doesn’t such love endorse and give credibility to their non-Christian position? What’s the difference? Our love drives us to proclaim the gospel, which is a message that only the church can proclaim. Therein lies the difference.
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Thanks, Ted. You’re right that “loving, selfish secularists can also show deep compassion and profound care.” Perhaps you know some.
To someone who recognizes that loving neighbour is more important than our liturgies and theologies of sacrifice, Jesus would respond, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:32-34).
I wish that was a conversation I could have more often.
Praise our kind-loving Lord God who is in Heaven.