"....They had some points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive."
(Acts 25:19-- NIV)
You've got to love it! Paul's testimony came through in power. But it was not to end here. Before he completed his service in this life Paul had an assignment with the Emperor in Rome. We are not a part of a kingdom which has limitations.
As I was reading the latter chapters of Acts recently, I realized again just how strategic was Paul's assignment in Rome. You may recall my synopsis of Acts--- From Jerusalem to Rome. Study Acts and you will see the "battle plan" of the Kingdom to take over the Empire. "Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar...." It was not Agrippa, Festus, nor even Paul's appeal which took him to Rome. It was King Jesus, Lord of Empires!
Most don't interpret it this way, but in just three short centuries the Followers of Jesus Christ, those who were described as turning the world upside down, had done it, converted the Emperor and became the official religion of the Empire. Now some, even evangelicals, don't agree with this. They have been duped by "higher education" to believe that it was all politics, intrigue, not real conversions, yada, yada, yada. Fact: The Obedient to Jesus Christ triumphed in the super power.
I think the reason that most do not interpret Church History this way is that it judges us today who have lost the "empire." We relegate religion to one isolated segment of a culture, and all the rest, viz., the political, education,
entertainment, social, etc., to the reprobates of society. Don't believe it for a moment. This is just convenient "tele-religion." You and I were given an assignment: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations...." In other words, "Go and take over." Jesus did not send us out to fail, to compromise, to settle for, as did the Jews recorded in Judges, sharing the nations with the idol worshippers.
Sarah and I go tomorrow to one of the major capitols of the world, and I have just returned from The Capitol of the world, Jerusalem. It all began 30 years ago with the words spoken to Paul by our Lord Jesus, and given to me on a plane as I was landing in Washington, DC. "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome." The moment I finished reading this text, I looked out of the plane window and saw the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, and the White House. I had spent my life bearing witness in the "religious" community. Now it was time to, "Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes." The mission has been primarily one of prayer and intercession. While I was with Vivian, one of CCE's servants in Jerusalem, a friend of hers, after hearing of our year in Berlin as intercessors, said to me, "Thank you so much for what you did there. I have heard and been seeing good things in the German Government." We returned 10 years ago from that year in Berlin. It was a great encouragement to me, yet met with the same "surprise" as Ed's "thirty years ago" comment.
I will access e-mail from Internet cafes from time to time, but will probably not be in regular contact, which is probably good after this long epistle. Your prayers for me in Israel were answered in ways I good never have imagined. Whoever is praying, keep at it! You are so much a part of all we do. We look forward to being in touch, hopefully, even get together upon our return. "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you....Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably."
Father, in Jesus' Name, by your grace and mercy fulfill Your Purposes in me. Amen.
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"Looking Unto Jesus"