Jesus last words to his disciples before ascending to Heaven were, "but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:8)
The apostles knew this teaching. They had undoubtedly taught it over and over to the growing Jerusalem church. Yet, only a small percentage of the thousands of believers seemed to be taking Jesus' words seriously.
When we don't obey what Jesus said in Acts 1:8, we are setting ourselves up for an Acts 8:1 wake-up call.
Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him [Stephen] to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. (Acts 8:1)
Interestingly enough, not even the apostles themselves seemed to grasp the magnitude of Jesus' words!
In the midst of all that absorbs our attention--health, work, family, material possessions, ministry, church, etc.--as important as these are, we must realize Jesus died for the whole world. He loves those in Somalia, Haiti, Iran, and India as much as he loves us. His focus and love is on the nations. Jesus is dead serious about the priority of taking his message of love and salvation to all people groups on the face of the earth.
Instead of using Jerusalem as our launching pad to Judea, Samaria, and the nations, we go the opposite direction. We start with our Jerusalem, segment down to our suburb, and from there to our own little micro-worlds. Our kingdoms gets confused with His Kingdom.
But one way or another Jesus will make his name known to the nations. We can either willingly obey, or be persecuted and scattered. Both get the job done!
I want to be careful to not jump to hasty conclusions, judge anyone, or over-generalize; but maybe, just maybe, we are beginning to get a taste of a 21st Century version of Acts 8:1. When our personal kingdoms and local Jerusalem consume nearly all our time, energy, and resources, and do so at the expense of the Great Commission; we shouldn't be surprised when the Father reactivates Acts 8:1 measures to get us out of our secure comfortable environments and out into his harvest fields. Seek first the Kingdom of God means SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD!