Sunday, April 28, 2013

Who’s IN and Who’s OUT?


Peter Preaches to the Gentiles
courtesy Google Search
 
Today I present gleanings from Pastor Jerry’s sermon.  He was reading from Acts 11:1-8 where Peter received a Vision three times. 
 
The bottom line was - - Do not call anyone unclean if God has made them clean.

Peter had been preaching to the choir so to speak.  The new Christians were encouraging one another, studying God’s word, and sharing the Gospel with other Jews many who received Christ as Lord.

God was ready to do a new thing, and to break “out of the box.”  A Centurion man named Cornelius received a visit from an angel, and was instructed to find Peter and bring him to his home. 

Meanwhile Peter had his own visitation where God made it clear that he was to go with the men who waited downstairs and share the gospel with a group of Gentiles.

Peter obeyed and as he spoke, the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentile congregation and they began to speak in other tongues as did the Jews on the day of Pentecost.

Peter was amazed and recognized that God is no respecter of persons, and who ever believes in Jesus will be saved.  He then called for them to be baptized in water.

When Peter returned home, he had some explaining to do.  Up until now, the Jews had been able to decide who was IN and who was OUT. 

Others of the Jews wanted the new Gentile Christians to abide by all the strict, ridged Jewish laws and customs including the fact that they should be circumcised.

Peter had a word from the Lord and that was the commandment that Jesus gave us to Love the Lord God and to Love One another. 
 
The Jewish brethren agreed to write a letter to the Gentiles advising them to keep the simple law of Love, with four admonitions that are still good for us to consider even today.

Shun anything that has to do with false gods.
Shun all sexual sins
Shun eating meat that has been killed by strangling
Shun eating or drinking blood

Acts 15:20 Yet let us send them written instructions to abstain from things polluted by connection with idolatry, from fornication, from meat killed by strangling, and from blood.

Today there are many Denominations and splinter groups.  Many have their own man made laws, rules and regulations.  They decide who “is IN and who is OUT.”

Pastor reminded us that many churches will not allow woman to preach. It is interesting that recently a woman was ordained into the Priesthood by a radical Catholic group.

Other churches shut out those who are recovering from addictions, or are not dressed according to a certain code. 
 
May we always follow the Law of Love given to us by Jesus and allow Him to decide who is IN and who is OUT. 

John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
 
 

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for this reminder. We must see others through God's eyes.

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  2. Fascinating how the world likes to make up rules that Christ came to demolish. The world, and I guess all of us still to a degree, tend to want to judge a book by its cover... thinking we have the gift of God and can know a heart... silly isn't it? Good one, Hazel.

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  3. I think satan has done a great job of getting Christians to fight among ourselves instead of reaching the world in Love.
    Why would the world want our brand of love when all we do is judge each other, disagree and point fingers?
    We are called to love. There is one judge.

    Great post!

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