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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Lessons You Can Learn From the Bible

LESSON 98

Christianity Spreads to Many Nations

Christianity Spreads to Many Nations

The apostles obeyed Jesus’ command to spread the good news in all the earth. In 47 C.E., the brothers in Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas on a preaching tour. The two zealous preachers traveled all over Asia Minor to such places as Derbe, Lystra, and Iconium.

Paul and Barnabas preached to everyone, whether rich or poor, young or old. Many people accepted the truth about Christ. When Paul and Barnabas preached to Sergius Paulus, the governor of Cyprus, a sorcerer tried to stop them. Paul told the sorcerer: ‘Jehovah is against you.’ Instantly, the sorcerer went blind. At seeing that, Governor Paulus became a believer.

Paul and Barnabas preached everywhere, from house to house, in markets, on the road, and in synagogues. When they healed a lame man in Lystra, those who witnessed the miracle thought they were gods and tried to worship them. But Paul and Barnabas stopped them, saying: ‘Worship only God! We are just men.’ Then certain Jews came and turned the crowd against Paul. The crowd stoned him, dragged him outside the city, and left him for dead. However, Paul was still alive! Right away, the brothers came to his rescue and took him back into the city. Later, Paul returned to Antioch.

In 49 C.E., Paul went on another tour. After returning to see the brothers in Asia Minor, he took the good news even farther, into Europe. He went to Athens, Ephesus, Philippi, Thessalonica, and other places. Silas, Luke, and a young man named Timothy joined Paul on his journey. They worked together to form congregations and help them become strong. Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, strengthening the brothers there. He preached, taught, and wrote letters to many congregations. He also did work as a tentmaker. In time, Paul returned to Antioch.

Later, in 52 C.E., Paul went on a third tour, starting in Asia Minor. He traveled as far north as Philippi and then down into Corinth. Paul spent several years in Ephesus, teaching, healing, and helping the congregation. He also gave public talks every day in a school auditorium. Many people listened and changed their ways. Finally, after preaching the good news in many lands, Paul went to Jerusalem.

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations.”​—Matthew 28:19