Jarrod Belcher

"Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation," Rev. 5:9.

This week the church celebrates Pentecost which for Christianity is the time in which the Holy Spirit came in power upon all believers. In Acts 2 it says on that day the Christians were gathered together in one place when they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages. Later on that day Peter went and preached a message to Jews from other nations that had gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast and at least 3000 became followers of Jesus Christ. In one sense it was the birth of the Christian church.

It was also just a foretaste of the fulfillment of the purposes of the gospel. Christ had come to die for a people from every tribe tongue and nation. And this was not just for Israelites that had been dispersed but for Gentiles as well. Although that purpose wouldn't fully be known to Peter until Acts 10, this event was a preview that the gospel was going to go out to the world beyond Jerusalem. Ever since the Tower of Babel language had been a barrier between people groups. God was sending a message at Pentecost that nothing can hinder his saving purposes.

All cultures and people groups have sinned. Everyone stands in judgment because of the ways in which they have rebelled against God and his commands. But he has been in rich in mercy towards us by sending Christ Jesus to die for all people groups - not just Israelites. For many years Christianity was a near-east religion. Later on it dominated the west. But no longer can we say that Christianity is confined to this region or that. Today the impact of Christianity is global. And for you who are tucked away in a little corner of Appalachia I tell you to rejoice because the gospel has come to you. When you get in a plane and look down at our area it looks like there's nothing but trees and mountains. Yet God has seen fit to remember us and send us the gospel so that we may believe in the only Savior of men. Take time today to give thanks to Christ who has come so save even those in Appalachia.

Jarrod Belcher is the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Williamson. He writes a weekly column. He can be contacted at fbcwilliamson@suddenlinkmail.com.