Jesus spent three years training and mentoring his disciples. These three years culminated in his death and resurrection. As he was preparing for his ascension back to heaven, he gave his apostles this charge:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. – Acts 1:8
We still live in an Acts 1:8 world, only we’re not in a Jerusalem neighborhood and Pueblo isn’t quite the same as Samaria (although it’s really close).
Our Jerusalem is where we live. For Mountainview, that means South Denver. It’s communities like Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Centennial, Lone Tree, Parker, Castle Pines, and Roxborough. For you, it’s your neighborhood.
Our Judea and Samaria are those regions close to home but more than a five-minute drive. For Mountainview, that would be Denver Metro and Colorado as a whole.
When Jesus spoke of the “ends of the earth,” he wasn’t advocating for a flat earth. He was reminding us that the gospel is for people both near AND far away. In a day and age when the disciples might never travel more than 100 miles from home, the “ends of the earth” weren’t that far away. For Mountainview, it is places such as Ukraine, North Africa, the Middle East, Nepal, and Jamaica.
I believe we have a graduated responsibility for each part of Acts 1:8.
We have a primary responsibility to impact our Jerusalem – our part of South Denver. This is where God has placed us and he did so for a purpose. He wants us to be salt and light right where we live.
Our next level of responsibility is to our Judea and Samaria – to be a church that blesses an entire region. We cannot reach everyone but we can be positive force to impact our region.
Finally, we have a global mandate to help further the growth and expansion in places where many of us will never set foot.
According to Jesus, the power is in the Holy Spirit.
We cannot make a difference across the street – much less across the world – unless the Holy Spirit provides the people, the resources, the power.