The Red Thread of the Gospel
November 02, 2020
By Barb Peil, Thru the Bible VP of Communications
Look in the back of your Bible and you likely will see several maps labeled “The Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Paul.” As a kid, I loved to study where Paul walked and sailed and taught. I imagined the conversations he had along the way.
In reality, those maps traced the miracle of how the gospel traveled down Roman roads to reach everyone in the known world. Likely tens of thousands believed, their impact spreading out from these cities like ringlets of water on a pond.
Today, picture another map—our world this time, larger than Paul’s but smaller by the minute. Every morning when I read the World Prayer Team email, I find the country and put a red dot there. This month, after 11 months traveling on our knees just in 2020, we’ve covered the globe in red dots. As we pray, we are asking the Lord to use us to take His whole Word to the whole world.
Now imagine that map tracing the travels of Thru the Bible in red threads over the whole globe. The continuing story of Jesus is now accessible to everyone who wants it.
125 times every hour around the clock, another region tunes in to their version of “How Firm a Foundation.” In each outlet, “stadiums of people” gather around God’s Word, delivered in the language that speaks best to their hearts.
Can you picture what that map looks like? Lines and arrows in literally every direction. The earth red with crisscrosses, each taking the message of the Cross to someone dying to hear it.
You can read about those first missionary journeys in the book of Acts. Acts is often called “Luke’s Gospel—Part 2” because Luke continued his account of Jesus’ earthly ministry (in the Gospel) next to how His Spirit moved to the world (Acts).
You have to wonder … could Luke be writing his third book right now? Capturing stories of how the gospel continued to spread from the 2nd century till when Jesus comes back? Dr. McGee whimsically wondered as much, too.
Here’s why that’s not such a crazy idea. Do a word study on “former” in Acts 1:1 (KJV) and you’ll learn the word is protos, normally translated “first” and implying the first of three or more. Luke could have chosen another word for “former” (of two), but didn’t. Could Luke have been hinting an “Acts—Part 2” will be available someday to download from our heavenly portal?
That book would be filled with all the stories of how people met Jesus and grew to be like Him. I’d like to have my name in that book—in your company, of course. Our partnership in the gospel could appear in the section, “What God did in the 21st century.”
God’s entire story continues to weave together in an integrated, crisscross way— taking the message of Jesus to everyone who will listen. It’s happening this moment.
Thanks for your partnership in telling the story—and also for being part of the story until Jesus comes back for us.