I Must Visit Rome Also (Acts 19:21-22) December 11, 2011
In the Korean translation, it says “I must see Rome”, but it says “I must visit Rome” in the English Bible. When Paul embraced a will of going to Rome, God blessed him as a person who saved Rome. If we just bear a desire to evangelize today’s Rome America, God will bless us accordingly. It says in Phil.2:13, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” If you can will what pleases the Lord, it is the greatest blessing of all. American Evangelization, I hope this may be what we who live in the U.S. desire. Someone asked me if that term is appropriate since the United States is supposedly a Christian nation. Do you really think so? Of course that was how it began. There was also a period when this nation was used and blessed in a good spiritual atmosphere. But don’t you know how badly this nation is perishing now? It has been prophesied in the Bible how a hegemonic nation of each age would corrupt and go astray. The issue at stake here is that the U.S. is the nation we are living in. That is why you and I must do something.
1. We must come to a clear conclusion that “we will devote the rest of our lives for the sake of evangelizing and saving America”.
1) Only then can we live right in this land. We all know how Lot came out of Sodom and Gomorrah completely failed when those lands faced curses and judgment. Never did he realize a commission to save those lands or pray about it. He just simply lived there and perished along. To what extent does God must use us?
a. Corruption and curses did not just knock on the door of this world one day. The Bible clearly reveals to us. It began with the evil spirit that corrupted Adam the devil, also known as the old serpent or Satan (Rev.12:9), and the Bible says it would cover the entire world (Is.60:1-2). We call this the spiritual problem. The stronger a nation, the greater its spiritual problem. It is a place where all the impure spirits assemble (Rev.18:1-3). Christ came for this very reason; He came to solve this problem (1Jn.3:8 and Gen.3:15). The same authority is given to us who believe in Christ (Luk.10:19). Explaining and proclaiming this Christ to others is evangelism.
b. If those who possess the mystery of Christ keep on proclaiming Christ and praying in one region, the forces of the Darkness and curses upon that region will undoubtedly flee and the power of the Holy Spirit will come upon it. We call this the Kingdom of God, and those who do that work “disciples”. Philip in Acts 8:4-8 is a prime example. When a layperson Philip entered the city of Samaria and testified Christ to its people, impure spirits left them, many of the ill were healed, and a great joy filled the city.
c. Disciples with this mystery must plow into each region, workplace, and especially the positions where the important policies are decided. That is the “summit” the Bible talks about (Deu.33:29). They are “those who remained” “holy seed”, and the “Remnant”. God has to bless these Remnants and those who raise them. The Bible has countless accounts of such occasions.
2) Once you make American Evangelization the conclusion of your life, God has to pour down blessings upon you. God’s will is to save all peoples that He created. And people from all nations have entered into the U.S., the superpower of this age. If you save multiethnic here, you contribute to the World Evangelization without actually going to the mission fields. We can do Chinese missions through our Chinese brothers and sisters at our church without actually going there. That is the kind of missions that Philip did in Acts 8. God blessed the witnesses of Romans 16 to the extent they could not help but save Rome. We all know their nicknames. They staked their lives for the Roman Evangelization, and God blessed them accordingly.
3) If you really come to the conclusion, the American Evangelization, God has already promised to bestow blessings upon you that will flow from one generation to the next.
a. When he became a governor of Egypt, Joseph told his brothers who sold him off as a slave (Gen.45:5-7). “You did not sell me; God has sent me ahead for the sake of us and our posterity.” Joseph knew his commission. He held onto God’s plan towards his posterity. His children had no choice but to inherit blessings.
b. On the other hand, if the parent generation does not realize this commission, the generational curse will inherit and repeat itself. Jonah of the Old Testament did not preach the Gospel in Nineveh. Later, Israel gets dreadfully annihilated by Assyria where the city of Nineveh belonged. Evangelism and missions are opening the age of blessings for our posterity. This is the very reason why we must live thinking about the American Evangelization. When Moses came to realize this commission, his eyes did not grow dim until he died at the age of 120.
2. If the American Evangelization is indeed your conclusion, how must you specifically prepare? Hold onto three answers through today’s passage.
1) enjoy the Gospel within your surroundings, situations, and what you do. Your life today must be your evidence. Acts 19:21 begins with “after all this had happened”. What was “all this”? Paul went through various hardships, persecutions, and problems, but none of them mattered to him. They are actually the beginning of all evangelism, and of course the beginning of the American Evangelization.
a. Christ has definitely finished all problems. Never be deceived when you face any problems or failures. Have you ever faced such hardships and failures? God will incorporate them into your testimony to use you as an instrument to save people like you. Hold onto that as God’s plan. Does it seem as though things are not going the way you want them to? There will come God’s moment (Kairos). That moment has to come. We call this time schedule. Ability to await that time schedule is faith.
b. “Enjoy” means 1Thes.5:16-18 taking place holding onto Christ and God’s time schedule. Remnants should do their studies this way. It is better to study while enjoying than study receiving stress.
2) Paul did not just say that he would go to Rome. He drew a specific blueprint of his journey to Rome passing Macedonia and Achaia. You need a roadmap even when you go on a short trip, but do you have a roadmap for your life? This must be confirmed and confirmed again in your own prayer. That is how you receive guidance from the Holy Spirit. It is recorded in Ps.90:12 that Moses prayed for wisdom to number his days. When you resolve to prepare yourself for the future for the sake of what God desires at the place He wants you to be, the Holy Spirit is bound to work.
3) The farther you go and the more important your work, you must go together. We call this team or system. It says in Acts 19:22 that Paul had his helpers. Among them, Timothy was a remnant, and Erastus was a public official who governed over the budget of a city called Corinth (Rom.16:23). He was a professional and an influential businessman. One of the reasons why we are doing the Remnant movement and the Remnant day is to form this. And you form a team with those Remnants. I hope you prepare for the future with the Remnants. That is why we also do forum together.
Enjoy the Gospel to the fullest extent in all situations. Draw the roadmap for the remainder of your life in the U.S. within prayer. Form a team with the Remnants. Make the American Evangelization the conclusion of your life and embrace it with your heart. And let us really devote ourselves. New answers will undoubtedly begin. I bless and hope that you may become the main figures of the greatest answers for the American Evangelization.