1. God picked a time when there was global LANGUAGE - Greek became the common language Lingua Franca - Lang. Trade of World. A person could travel the entire known world from India to Britain and never be out of touch with what was going on. The language of the world was in place. So the good news about the sacrificial death of Jesus was quickly understood…
  1. God picked a time when there was global COMMUNICATIONS. In the market place of every city there stood a milestone giving the distance from Rome. In the market of "Rome the eternal" there stood a golden milestone, erected by Augustus, which described the capital city as the heart of this giant, pulsating organism of peoples.
  1. Between Alexandria and Asia Minor there was a daily shipping connexion (Ramsay, Letters to the Seven Churches, 18, 435).
  2. According to Pliny one traveled from Spain to Ostia, the port of Rome, in four days, and in two days from Africa.
  3. The tomb inscription is known of a Phrygian merchant who not less than 72 times made the journey from Hierapolis, near Colosse in Asia Minor, to Rome, over 1,250 miles.  

Without this notable world traffic the swift advance of early Christianity would have been inconceivable. Sea traffic was specially important to them, for early Christian gospel work was specially important to them, for early Christian gospel work was in great measure a labor in harbor cities, and especially so with Paul. "In the main the world of the apostle is to be sought where the sea wind blows." One need only think of Paul's sojourns in the ports of Caesarea, Troas, Ephesus, Athens, Corinth, and Rome.

Yet the land connections also were of the utmost importance. Even the most remote and isolated lands were opened up through roads and bridges. Already at that time a tolerably complete network of well-built highways, protected by walls and fortresses, spread itself over the whole empire. "All roads lead to Rome." On these imperial and main roads the messengers of the gospel later traveled, bringing to the world the joyful news of the Redeemer who had appeared. Some estimate Paul alone journeyed by land and water a total of more than 15,000 miles.

  1. God picked a time when there was global PEACE - This was an especial fruit of the rule of the Emperors. Since the Romans were the lords of the whole earth, the passions of the people became ever more allayed. There set in the much lauded "Roman Peace," Pax Romana . Although the period of Augustus was not entirely free from war, yet nevertheless at last the temple of Janus at Rome, the temple of the God of war, after over 200 years of uninterrupted fighting (since 236) could at length be shut, in the year 29 B. C. And for two centuries, until A. D. 180, the world lay in peace.
  1. God picked a time when there was global DECADENCE/MORAL DECLINE and DEGENERATION - But morally this whole civilized world carried within itself the germ of death. The streams of gold which, especially since the victory over Hannibal (202 B. C.), flowed into the world's capital led to such luxury that filth and vulgarity soon lifted their heads in the most insolent manner.

According to the descriptions of Tacitus, Suetonius, and Juvenal, we cannot portray with adequate blackness the low moral state to which the aristocracy and highest State officials had sunk. Debauchery and gluttony, subornation and poisoning, vulgarity and immorality, unchastity and licentiousness were the order of the day, especially in the middle of the first century. The lowest classes had sunken equally low. In the large Hellenistic cities, especially of Italy, lack of work ruined the masses. "Panem et circenses" - "Bread and Games" - this was their demand to the rulers.

By day they loitered idly around; in the evening they went to the amphitheatre, the disgusting pleasure resort of Roman brutality. So vast were the crowds that pressed to the wild beast hunts, the gladiatorial contests, and the mimic sea battles, that the Emperor Vespasian and Titus caused to be built in Rome the vast Flavian amphitheater, which had 54,000 seats, and at the dedication of which, in spectacles lasting 120 days, not less than 12,000 beasts and 10,000 gladiators lost their lives. It was otherwise with the middle class. Here the papyri witness that there were still much decorum and morality, private family life, and strong religious feeling. Faith in the Gods of Greece and the Italian deities was indeed gone, on which account the mass of the people turned to the oriental deities from the remote East, which, in large numbers, were gaining ground at that time.

In fact, Romans 1:28-32 may be Paul looking out a window. But finally, there was one more notable feature of those full times