Terry R. Baughman
“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:47–49).
Anything of great significance has a starting point. Looking back it may be difficult to visualize how great movements began or how simple inventions became universal products. Everything has a beginning.
The first scratchy transmissions of voice in Alexander Graham Bell’s experiments were the beginning of telephone communications. We can hardly imagine a world without the ability to call nearly anywhere on the globe and hold a clear conversation instantly. Simple experiments in voice transmissions created the beginning of a universal telecommunications network.
Our nation was established 240 years ago when 56 delegates of the original thirteen British colonies in the new world met in the second continental congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They agreed to separate from Britain and sign a Declaration of Independence forming the foundation of the United States of America. That was just the beginning of a nation that would come to eclipse the power and influence of the British Empire. It is doubtful that the original signers of the document realized the importance of the moment and the far reaching effect of their valiant declaration.
When Jesus met with twelve followers and spoke of worldwide influence it was equally difficult for them to imagine the implication of these discussions. He spoke parables to the crowds and explained them to disciples. Jesus performed miracles and taught about the Kingdom of God. He challenged His followers to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Little did they realize the vastness of the world and the multiplied millions that would inhabit the nations. Their talks around the campfire and their written records of Christ’s teaching would survive to form the foundation of the greatest movement ever established.
Jesus predicted that, “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). Jerusalem would be the epicenter of evangelism, the birthplace of the church, and the place from which the Good News would be proclaimed to the world.
The promise of the Holy Spirit was essential to the success of the church and the empowerment of every believer. That is why Jesus made it clear that they must remain in Jerusalem until they received the, “power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
God is omniscient, there is no limit to God’s knowledge. Within the experience first given on the Day of Pentecost was all the power and operation needed for the vast outreach of the church in all the world which we now witness. Jesus initiated the movement, trained the leadership, and transformed men and women by the power of His Spirit to become all that is needed for world changers in our generation.
And just to think, it all began in Jerusalem!
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses” (Acts 1:8).