Dear RCF Sisters and Brothers,
When God sent Barnabas and Saul from the city of Antioch to the West in 46 AD He had a plan to eventually bring the majority of the people in Europe and the Americas to identify as followers of His Son. This plan has played out over the past 1975 years as God sovereignly directed the actions of kings and commoners, builders and bishops, armies and authors. Woven into God’s plan were the individual choices of every person who has lived on the earth.
The western world that you have known is the outcome of God’s sovereign control. The democratic republic you live in is the result of HIs His choosing. The places you know have been shaped in the past by people who were bringing His will into reality. Integral to the totality of your life today was God’s Holy Spirit directing two men, Barnabas and Saul, to depart the ancient Roman city of Antioch and head to the west to tell people about Jesus of Nazareth. If they had been sent to the East instead of the West everything you have known would be different. The Christian faith may have become seated and centered in Central Asia, the Far East, or Africa. Europe may have stayed polytheistic or sunk into further spiritual darkness when the Roman Empire fell. Who knows what that would have meant for your ancestors.
Our response to God’s sovereign control of history should be to praise Him for His favor to our ancestors and ourselves. Our ancestors lived in a Christian culture and we have been born into a free country framed with Christian ideals. Knowledge of Christ Jesus had been easily available to most of our ancestors and to ourselves for the past approximately 1,500 years. The principles of our country and its moral foundation resulted from the direction those two men headed when they left Antioch. All of this was the plan of “Him Who worketh all things”, including history, “according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).
Join us this Sunday morning as we continue in the theme To The Remotest Part of the Earth, and our Discussion Bible Study in the History of the Early Church. Please prepare by reading the entirety of Acts 13 -14. This week we will examine and discuss Acts 13 and 14 with the title “How The West Was Won…To Christ – Part 2”.
Attached is an outline (in two sizes) of the text we will be focussing upon this Sunday morning. Please print it ahead of time, as it will help you take part in the discussion. We will also have copies when we gather on Sunday morning.
Here is the Table Discussion Questions for Sunday:
If Barnabas and Saul were sent by God from Antioch to the East, South, or North instead of the West, how might your ancestors’ lives have been different? How might your life have been different?
In this series we have already discussed the following texts and topics:
The New Era Begins: Acts 1:12-2:21
Who is to Blame for Good Friday?: Acts 2:22-23
The New Community Begins: Acts 2:24-47
The First Official Pushback Is Pushed Back: Acts 3
The First Official Pushback Is Pushed Back – Part 2: Acts 4
God Elevates His Purity and His Principals: Acts 5:1-11
God Elevates His Purity and His Principals – Part 2: Acts 5:12 – 6:7
The Spark That Ignited The Flames of Persecution – Part 1: Acts 6:8 – 7:43
The Spark That Ignited The Flames of Persecution – Part 2: Acts 7:44 – 8:3
The New Community’s Pearl Harbor: Acts 8:1-25
Going Global: Taking The New Community International: Acts 8:26-40
Going Global: Taking The New Community International: Acts 9:1-25
Not “E Pluribus Unum”, But “Nos, Et Nos Nos”: Acts 9:26-31
The Border Crisis: God’s Path For Foreigners To Become Citizens: Acts 9:32-10:33
The Border Crisis: God’s Path For Foreigners To Become Citizens – Part 2: Acts 10:34-11:30
Uncivil Rest – Part 1: Acts 12:1-17
Uncivil Rest – Part 2: Acts 12:18-25
How The West Was Won…To Christ: Acts 13
We hope that you will join us in person or online this Sunday morning at Bay Lodge at 9:00 am!
We love you all!
Jim and Jenny