I was reading the Got Questions article on demonology, and something hit me that I’d never noticed before. Satan fell for the sin of pride, the sin of wanting to be greater than God. And what did he tempt Adam and Eve to do? Exactly the same thing. Satan knew full well the results of that particular sin, the appalling separation it brought, but he went out of his way to drag innocent humans into it as well. He corrupted creation in the best way he knew how, and delighted in making it share in his fall, out of spite, with sadistic glee. There aren’t words to describe how sick that is.
I suppose I don’t often think about how evil Satan is, so this realisation came as something of a shock. Thank God, though that Satan is defeated, and destined to Hell. However, it should also serve as a stark reminder: be on your guard, and don’t fall for the devil’s favourite game. We should never try to grab hold of equality with God, like he did, but instead recognise him as Lord, as the one who gave his life to save us, and adopt us as his children. God is no tyrant. He’s a father who gave everything he had to save his enemies. He’s a friend who looked past his revulsion at our sin, and took it on himself. And he’s a king, enthroned over everything we are, taking us by the hand and leading us through the fog of tomorrow. Now that’s someone worth serving.
When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)…
If you were to change the course of human history, how many people would you use? A whole country? An army? A committee of influential diplomats? How about 120 fishermen, tax collectors, and nobodies? 120. They only just filled a room, and yet, despite their diminutive size, they turned humanity upside down. Despite the fact that they looked to all the world like a helpless bunch of leaderless heretics, their ‘spiritual lineages’ have burst forward through time, and their legacies have been written on billions of hearts.
So what changed? What, or who, gave them this power to shake the planet?
At Pentecost, God poured out his Holy Spirit on the early Christians, and it was because of him that the Gospel was so universally spread. He worked in and through believers, using them to reach out with his love, transform lives, and essentially bring humanity back from the dead. Just like he’s doing today.
What really struck me about the verse, though, was the familiarity of ‘120’. It’s pretty much the number of folk in Christian Union. I don’t know about you, but what with events week looming ever closer, I find it very encouraging to see just how much God can do with a bunch of randomers crowded into a small room, or perhaps an out-of-use student club. We may not even be 1% of the uni population, but, by his Holy Spirit, God brought over a billion people to him with 120. How can we doubt his power to change the campus with us?