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Sermon #5797

They Went Everywhere Preaching

A Sermon on Acts 8:4


Acts 8:4 ESV KJV
Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Christianity began as a small movement in a vast, often hostile Roman Empire. How did it grow? What factors contributed to it eventually becoming the dominant religion of the empire? Moreover, what can be learned from the early church as the culture reverts back to hostile paganism? In this sermon on Acts 8:4 titled “They Went Everywhere Preaching,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones highlights the vital importance of men like Peter, Paul, and the other apostles as they preached the good news around the empire. Interestingly, he notes the role persecution played in the spread of the gospel. However, Dr. Lloyd-Jones specifically points to the witness and testimony of ordinary members of the Christian church as being a means God regularly uses to spread the truth about Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones comments on how often the Holy Spirit uses ordinary Christians to preach the word. He emphasizes that the spread of the gospel comes by the preaching of the word, not just talking about oneself. Christians must consider today how God has used ordinary men and women in ordinary conversation, preaching the extraordinary message of Christ to evangelize the world. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches why “gossiping” the gospel is of such great importance.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The passage Acts 8:4 shows the spread of the early church outside of Jerusalem for the first time. This marks a new departure in the life of the infant Christian church.
  2. Up until this point, the church had been confined to Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit descended on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, so the church started there.
  3. This passage shows the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy in Acts 1:8 that the disciples would be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.
  4. There were three main factors in the spread of the gospel and growth of the early church:

  5. The preaching of the apostles: Preaching is God's chosen method. God raises up preachers, gives them the message and power, and puts His Spirit on them.

  6. Persecution: God often uses persecution to spread His kingdom. The persecution described in Acts 8:1 led to the scattering of believers who preached the word wherever they went.
  7. The witness of ordinary church members: Acts 8:4 shows that ordinary Christians went everywhere preaching the word. They didn't just preach in pulpits but shared the gospel through conversation.

  8. The Christians preached the word, meaning the specific message of the gospel, not just their experiences. The gospel is a definite, concrete message that can be defined, in contrast with the vagueness of many cults and false teachings.

  9. Though the gospel is profound, it is simple enough for ordinary Christians to understand and share. At the same time, the greatest minds cannot fully comprehend it.
  10. The Christians preached Jesus Christ and Him crucified, as well as His resurrection. This is the essence of the gospel message.
  11. The Christians preached out of concern for the spiritual need of others, compassion for their lost condition, and a desire to share the joy they had found in Christ.
  12. Ultimately, what compelled the Christians to preach was the filling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gave them power and made them witnesses for Christ.

Itinerant Preaching

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.