“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 19:9–10, ESV)
Is it possible to reach the whole world with a message? Well, with God nothing is impossible. When Jesus gave the Great Commission to the disciples, He told them to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19, ESV). My salvation story has many parts to it. Yet one which had an immediate affect was a small church that was just starting up in a school building in our community. It was called the Alliance Church of Bartlett.
Their evangelistic strategy was to go door-to-door and invite people to the church. Their goal was to go to every home in three communities that surrounded that location within one year. The population of these three communities was about 60,000. It would be a daunting but fruitful task. The little church with a core of about 20 grew in one year to just over 100 in attendance. Many were saved during that time, myself included.
Immediately after the Lord saved me, I became part of this evangelistic effort. We went door-to-door every Saturday. I wore out a pair of shoes in this effort. The point is that a few committed people can influence many with a message of hope.
In this passage, we see that Paul went to Ephesus and there he began preaching in the synagogue for three months (v8). When the Jews who opposed his message began speaking evil of those who believed in Jesus, he moved out of the synagogue to the lecture hall of Tyrannus (v9). There he preached daily. He continued to do this daily preaching for two years. The result was that through his ministry in two years’ time, “all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord” (v10).
The point is this. It is possible for passionate people to reach their communities with the gospel. However, this takes two key components. First and foremost, it is impossible to reach people without the power of God working by His grace in us and through us. Paul put it like this.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10, AV)
Yet, the second key component is a willing servant. That is someone who is willing to yield to the leadership of the Holy Spirit and give all for the mission. There are few who can do like Paul did spending time everyday preaching the word of God. However, how many of us spend little time getting the word out? We need to make the most of every opportunity the Lord gives us because of the days in which we live (Eph 5:15-16; col 4:5-6).