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  • Grace B-P Contributor

A Visit To Cappadocia, Türkiye

By Rev Tan Eng Boo



It is always wonderful to visit places mentioned in the Bible, like Cappadocia in Türkiye. This is the place where many tourists would take a hot air balloon ride. This ride is not cheap, but still, lots of tourist flock there to have an experience of a lifetime. When I was there two years ago, I decided to watch and photograph these hot air balloons from the Cave Hotel, where I had the opportunity to witness around 80-100 balloons ascending. What a magnificent sight to behold.


Pentecost

But did you know that Cappadocia has a special place in the Bible? Cappadocia was the easternmost province of the ancient Roman Empire in eastern Asia Minor (Türkiye today). The New Testament mentions Cappadocia as a place where some believers were, evidence of the widespread growth of Christianity in the first century. The first mention of Cappadocia is in Luke’s account of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2 has reference to the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples of Jesus and they spoke in tongues, in the languages of those people who were there in Jerusalem. One group of people who were there, were those from Cappadocia (Acts 2:9). Amazing indeed! The apostle Peter stood up and preached on that day and we read in Acts 2:41


“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”


The first Open Air preaching in Jerusalem, Israel, brought so many lost souls to Christ. These Cappadocian believers went back to their country (modern day Türkiye), and they must have shared the Good News to their loved ones and friends.


A good reminder for you to share the Good News of salvation, too, when you have the opportunity to do so.


A Place of Refuge



The apostle Peter writes:


“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.” (1 Peter 1:1, 2).


During this time, believers were being brutally persecuted and found refuge in places like Cappadocia. There, the believers continued to multiply. It is amazing to see the many cave dwelling places till this day.


It is a good reminder that Christians should be prepared for persecution.


“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12, 13).


This was Peter’s exhortation to the persecuted saints in Cappadocia.


More than 365 million Christians in the world, that is one in seven, face high levels of persecution for their faith today, according to the latest World Watch List published by Open Doors, an international advocacy organization supporting persecuted Christians and Churches worldwide (18 January 2024). As Jesus says,


“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18 KJV).


Cappadocian Fathers

I thought it would be good for you to know some Church History. In those days, there was a heresy called Arianism, which asserted that Jesus was created by God and that He is separate from, and not equal to, the Father. These Cappadocian Fathers dealt with this heresy.


The first of the Cappadocian Fathers was Basil the Great (AD 330–379). He joined with the bishop of Caesarea in his struggle against Arianism, a heresy that denies the deity of Christ. The second was Gregory of Nyssa (c. AD 332–395), Basil’s younger brother. The third Cappadocian Father was Gregory of Nazianzus (AD 329–389). Partly through the work of the Cappadocian Fathers, Arianism was finally defeated at the Council of Constantinople in AD 381. All three of the Cappadocian Fathers are considered saints by both the Eastern and Western churches. (https://www.gotquestions.org/Cappadocian-Fathers.html)


A good reminder for us to be faithful to God’s Word. Be careful of what you hear (preaching especially) on the pulpit, or read from the internet and books.


“But test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

The apostle John says,


“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4).



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