The Reason I Must Live in the United States (Acts 19:21) 6/14/2020
The Answer of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd RUTC:
The Reason I Must Live in the United States (Acts 19:21) 6/14/2020
For the last three weeks, we have been thinking about the absolute plan, absolute grace, and absolute evidence that God had bestowed upon the Antioch Church to change the world and save all nations. The passage relays the heartfelt prayer and confession of Paul, who the five multi-ethnic leaders gathered to pray and commission out as a missionary, as he enjoyed the realistic blessings of world evangelization. “I must visit Rome also.” In English, it is expressed as something he must do. As Paul thought of Rome, he held onto three of God’s absolute plan- heavenly mandate, calling, and mission. Why is this particular confession evermore important to us who live in America in this age?
- Paul saw Rome, the superpower of that age, as the “end of the earth.” Here, he held onto his heavenly mandate.
The Lord gave us the final covenant, “you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Why was Rome the end of the earth for that age? Why is the superpower nation, the United States, the end of the earth for this age?
1) It is the nation in which sharing the gospel is the most difficult and many conflicts and disputes arise.
Thousands of churches are closing their doors every year. Churches will continuously face more and more hardships and persecution. We know that the highest number of Christians died during the age of Rome. The greatest corruption of Christianity took place post Roman age.
2) Why was and is it so hard to share the gospel in Rome and the United States?
It is because idol worship, humanism, and all of the world’s powers – three of which God despises the most – are concentrated in these nations. The history that began from the Babel Tower movement of Genesis 11 will manifest as the fall of Great Babylon in Revelation 18. The three features of the Babel Tower and the Great Babylon are idols, humanism, and the collection of the greatest powers of the world.
① Idols – As immigrants from all over the world flooded in, they brought their own idols with them. Revelation 18:2 calls the place a dwelling for demons and impure spirits. The representative movement is the New Age movement that began in the United States. Many are openly claiming as worshippers of Satan.
② Humanism – In nicer terms, it means “let us think and live as fully human; stress the potential value and goodness of human beings.” However, spiritually, it defies God and puts mankind in the center of all thought and ideologies. This produces individual selfishness, collective selfishness, and national selfishness. The three greatest philosophies of the 20th century that is based on the theory of Evolution blossomed here in America (pragmatism, existentialism, and behaviorism).
③ All of the world’s powers and authorities are gathered here. The United States’ politics, economy, and military are immensely powerful enough to move the world.
3) People do not realize that in such a nation like America, most serious and endless calamities and suffering are around us.
① America has the highest record of depression, drugs, mental illnesses, school shootings, and other various violent crimes.
② It breaks our hearts to see that America now has the greatest number of confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19.
- What was the reason Paul embraced the thought of visiting Rome in his heart? It was his calling.
God had called him. There are things that only evangelists who possess the gospel can do. Let us look at three examples from the Bible that tells us how important it is for us to realize this calling in our lives.
1) The case of Lot who lived a life of complete failure in the land of Sodom and Gomorrah.
He went into that land with only physical greed (Genesis 13:10) in hopes of living better and achieving more success. However, he did not realize that God’s judgement would be upon that land. He did not gain anything. In fact, he lost everything.
2) The case of Priscilla and Aquila who were evicted from Rome.
① Aquila was a Jewish man who married a Roman lady named Priscilla. In Rome, he was successful with his tentmaking business. In the time of Emperor Claudius, he was forced out because of his international marriage. We know and share the confusion of identity that many children of international marriages experience in our church.
② However, Priscilla and Aquila met Paul in the region of Corinth and heard the accurate gospel that changed their lives. They became Paul’s lifelong coworkers (Romans 16:3-4). The Church of Corinth began in their home (1 Corinthians 16:19). Later, their family was used in God’s absolute plan to go back and save the nation of Rome.
3) The case of Paul in today’s passage.
① Paul was a citizen of Rome. He was originally a Jewish man, but because he was born in Tarsus, Cilicia, he obtained a Roman citizenship (Acts 16:37, 21:39). When the Jewish land was colonized by Rome and people were in misery, Paul was able to enjoy the privilege of being a Roman citizen. Up until he realized the real gospel and his calling for Roman evangelization, that was the extent to his life (just a privileged life).
② Right now, Paul wants to go into Rome to save it. Rather, he confesses that he absolutely must go. When we realize the gospel of Christ and God’s heavenly mandate as we hold onto our calling, God will show us what we need to do. Only then, will our suffering, pain, and small tasks become blessings of uniqueness and evidence that save people and change the world.
- What did Paul seek to do in Rome? It was his mission. What must we do with our lives?
1) Do not jump into doing anything but begin with prayer. The prayer of a watchman for this world (Isaiah 62:6-7).
Sodom and Gomorrah did not perish because they became corrupt. The perished because there were not even 10 righteous men who thought and prayed about God’s desire (Genesis 18:24-32). Who can save and change the United States? Only God can (Romans11:26). Then, we will be able to see what we are to do.
2) In our workplace and/or region, begin with one individual to save.
① Save one individual of different ethnicities and concentrate on one disciple. This is the beginning of the 5 biblical evangelism systems.
Do so with open and empathetic hearts in servitude. That is the heart of Christ (Philippians 2:1-5).
② When you meet someone like that, accurately explain to them the gospel of Christ (Luke 2:10).
When you explain the spiritual problem of mankind, the Son of God who came as Christ with the three authorities, three privileges in Christ(Mt16:16-18), and the 7 blessings of a child of God that becomes yours when you accept Christ, the Holy Spirit will work.
3) As you pray and share the correct gospel, you are fighting three wars that you cannot see with your eyes.
Spiritual warfare (to break down the 12 trap and snares of Satan that works within individuals and the world) cultural warfare (to overturn the spiritual flow of this world full of darkness), summit warfare (to raise remnants that will experience the gospel and the power of the holy spirit and be used by God).
Conclusion – We are navigating difficult times. Nonetheless, God has promised his absolute blessing, answer, and evidence for those who hold onto his heavenly mandate, calling, and missions amidst all of this (covenant journey). We are the ones to save America, the Rome of this age.