Reading: Galatians chapter 4 verse 4
God’s timing is always perfect and the Gospel was introduced when the conditions were just right for the message to spread quickly and effectively.
• Political conditions were just right. The Roman Empire included Western Europe, the Mediterranean lands and islands, the Middle East and North Africa. It was stable as its powerful army maintained peaceful conditions amongst the ethnic groups. No passports were required, there were no border controls and it all enabled the speedy spread of the Gospel.
• Linguistic conditions were just right. The empire had a lingua franca or common language and that was Greek which was widely used and made the proclamation of the Gospel whether spoken or written so much easier, with no need for constant translation.
• Logistical conditions were just right. There were good communications with well-laid out roads and good shipping routes with well-maintained harbours. Roads were safe and travel was faster in Roman times than at any time until the industrial revolution in Europe. The roads had no turnpikes or potholes, were straight, well-guarded and there were no national barriers or customs to hinder free movement. Thus, Christians could take the Gospel message with all speed all over the empire.
• Religious conditions were just right. The Jews were in many parts of the empire and had over one 150 synagogues where they taught monotheism, the Old Testament and the expectation of the Messiah. Many Gentiles were attracted and met in the synagogues. Also the old mythological gods were losing their grip on people’s minds partly due to the undermining effect of philosophical teaching and the need of people for an authentic religious experience. Religious conditions of expectation and desire were in place for the reception of the Gospel.
The Gospel spread rapidly and a spiritual revolution took place that ‘turned the world upside down’. Conditions may not be so conducive today, but we take heart from the fact, ‘that in the fulness of the time God sent forth His Son’ Galatians chapter 4 verse 4.
What Hope this brings us today, ‘God sent forth His Son’. May you know the blessings this brings with Christ as your Saviour and Lord. Please let us know if you would like help and encouragement to become a Christian and to live the Christian life.