Spread of ChristianityQUESTION: What influenced the spread of Christianity?ANSWER:
Interestingly, the question is posed "what influenced the spread of Christianity" and not "who" was influential in this surviving spiritual phenomenon. Granted, there are many throughout history, going back to Jesus' resurrection, who have been instrumental in spreading "the good news" or gospel of Christ. In fact, there have been many who have given their lives for not renouncing Him.
The word Christianity simply means followers of Christ. It has nothing to do with denominations or doctrines; God offers everyone the choice to accept Christ Jesus. The title Christ, coming from the Greek word khristos
and means anointed. The anointed one, Jesus the promised Messiah, was consecrated, appointed, commissioned, and appointed to come as God in the flesh for the atonement of our sins.
What influenced the spread of Christianity?
More than any witness, martyr, or written antiquity, Christianity has been spread as a result of the need of mankind and the love of God. It has been said that if there were no god, man would have to invent one. But since God is, He gave His son Jesus to answer that need and demonstrate His forgiving love (John 3:16-17). Through the Holy Spirit of God, mankind is drawn to seek Him out, fill the void, and feed the hunger of our needs for atonement and restoration. God forgives and it is by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that it was made possible.
Jesus instructed His disciples (students) in the ways they were go forth and teach others. He tells them in Matthew 28:19: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations. . ." The book of Acts is a history of the beginnings of the early church and is important in proving the truth of Jesus' teachings. Christ's followers dealt with many adversaries though. They were highly persecuted for their faith and for pursuing this Great Commission.
Many did not want Christianity to expand any further and ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus. Their reply recorded in Acts 4:19-20 was, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." (Because they saw first-hand the things Jesus did, they had very strong convictions about the message Jesus wanted them to spread.)
Their secure belief in Jesus and His teachings enabled them to speak confidently and effectively. Even in the face of persecution, they were compelled to speak what they knew was true, and the movement continued to grow. The spiritual hunger of the people they met needed to be fed and the spirit within those audiences quickly latched on to what they learned to be truth.
Christianity survived and spread because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the power of God's Holy Spirit. Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica: ". . .our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. . ." (1 Thessalonians 1:5).