This phenomenon has occurred in excess of 190 times over a four-year span in the United States alone. During intense heat waves, steel, the major component of railroad tracks, gets hotter, causing that steel to expand and start to curve, referred to as buckling. In physics, this phenomenon is defined as thermal expansion, the tendency of matter to change in response to temperature changes. When a substance is heated, the kinetic energy in the molecules increases, those particles move, creating a greater separation with their neighboring particles, and an expansion occurs. Simply stated, the greater the heat, the greater the expansion. That heat is the driving force behind rail buckling. And it is also an accurate description of what occurred in the Book of Acts.
Jesus had promised power to His disciples, power in the form of the indwelling Spirit of God. Once armed with this supernatural power, they were commanded to bear the good news of the Gospel, to witness “both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” God kept His promise, and that band of 120 disciples grew to more than 3,000 souls almost instantly, then swelling by several thousand more within four short chapters. But after two years of preaching and evangelism, the disciples remained in Jerusalem, the good news of the Gospel confined within the walls of that city. With the first phase of the great commission completed, God graciously applied some heat to encourage expansion.
“And the word of God increased…Then there arose certain of the synagogue…” and here it comes: opposition, false witnesses, and slander raining down upon those new believers. Stephen, a man “full of faith,” and a deacon of the early church, was martyred for his fiery defense of the Gospel and his stirring rebuke of a religious hierarchy that was “stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears.” “And they cast him out of the city and stoned him.” Enter thermal expansion: “And there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem, and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria,” and by the closing chapter of Acts, the gospel would have been carried to all the known regions of the world. The application of heat caused that small band of believers to expand to the far reaches of their world.
Postponed obedience is tantamount to disobedience. God applied the heat to fulfill His desire to get the good news of salvation to a needy world. The choice is ours, we can feel the heat of God’s chastening hand, or we can beat the heat by obeying His bidding and carrying His Word into “all the world.”
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Lord, our nation may be feeling the heat for our overt disobedience to Your Word and Your commandments. Help us to obey without the pressure of Your chastening hand.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2389-6286378518f72' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2389&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2389-6286378518f72' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2389-6286378518f72' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>