“Paul entered the synagogue for three months, spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the Kingdom of God; but when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the Hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the Word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.”
– Acts 19:8–10
It’s that last phrase, that last verse, Acts 19:10, that is shocking to me.
Paul is in Ephesus, he’s preaching the Gospel, he starts reasoning daily in the Hall of Tyrannus. Acts 19:10 says he did this for two years. As a result of his preaching the Gospel, in this Hall in Ephesus for two years, the Bible says, “all the residents of Asia heard the Word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.” Now, think about that. “All the residents of Asia.” I mean, we know this is a general statement, but that’s a lot of people, all throughout Asia, that are hearing the Word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.
We should share the gospel right where we are, praying that God would multiply our efforts like He did for Paul.
Acts 19:8–10 Gives a Picture of Evangelism
Paul, himself, is not going all throughout Asia to Jews and Greeks everywhere. He’s staying in one place, daily in the Hall of Tyrannus. As he’s sharing the Gospel there, people are coming through Ephesus, they’re hearing the Gospel, it’s a trade route. They’re hearing the Gospel there, and then they’re taking it from Ephesus all throughout Asia. His work in that one place is spreading far beyond that place. When I read that, I think this is exactly what Jesus showed us when it comes to disciple-making.
I mean, you think about it. Jesus spent the majority of his time in the world in a pretty isolated geographic location. He was working there, bringing good news of the Kingdom in a way that would, as a result of his life in a pretty isolated geographic location, go far beyond that location in the days to come. When you think about your life, when I think about my life … We’re not going to go everywhere in the world sharing the Gospel, each one of us; but we can share the Gospel faithfully right where God has put us, and trust that as we do that right where God has put us, as people come to Christ, as we make disciples right where we live, that that’s going to have impact far beyond where we live. In ways we won’t even see, can’t even imagine.
Acts 19:8–10 Shows the Beauty of Disciple-Making
We have the opportunity. This is the beauty of disciple-making, to get the Gospel to people we’ll never even meet in this life. As we share the Gospel with this person in this place, and then they take to Gospel to somebody else in another place, and then they do the same in another place; this is how the Gospel is intended to spread in the world. I just want to encourage you; encourage my own heart.
God help us to be faithful, to share the Gospel right where you have put us. God help us to make disciples right where we live. We pray that as we do that, that you would cause the Gospel to spread to people who we may never meet in this life. Who will hear the good news of your love in Christ, and respond to it, and be saved; even though we don’t ever directly see them.
This Leads Us to Pray for the Spread of the Gospel
But God, as we share the Gospel right around us, we pray the Gospel would spread far from us. We pray for this in our lives, for our families, for our churches; help us to spread the Gospel right where we are today, in ways that in the days to come will take the Gospel far from where we live. God, we want to see all the residents of the world everybody knowing your love in Christ. Help us to live wherever you’ve placed us today, in a way that leads eventually to everybody knowing about your grace and your love. As we obey your command and make disciples and share the Gospel right where we are, we pray that you would bless our lives and our work toward the end that all peoples, all nations might know your love in Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray these things. Amen.