Acts 11. Forum Discussion

God's word is written for all people

Some of the most important moments in the history of Christianity are happening here in Acts 11. Sharing the gospel with the gentiles was a big deal! No longer was the word of God reserved for a Jewish audience only. Now the good news could be shared throughout the world, to both Jews and Gentiles!

As you might imagine, this change invoked quite a reaction from the Jewish people of the time. Luke writes beginning in verse 1:

And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him, saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” – Acts 11:2-3.

The way that Peter addressed their concerns is a great model for us to follow even today. We will pick up Peter’s response beginning in verse 4:

But Peter began speaking and proceeded to explain to them in orderly sequence, saying, “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object coming down like a great sheet lowered by four corners from the sky; and it came right down to me,and when I had fixed my gaze on it and was observing it I saw the four-footed animals of the earth and the wild beasts and the crawling creatures and the birds of the air. I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘By no means, Lord, for nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But a voice from heaven answered a second time, ‘What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.’”

At first glance, one might think that Peter was talking about what types of food to eat, but further inspection reveals something different. Peter was referring to the sharing of the Gospel, and how it was to be shared with all people, everywhere! Whether Jewish or Gentile, God has now given His blessing to teach everyone the good news of Jesus Christ.

Luke writes that Peter began speaking, “in an orderly sequence.” Peter had learned from the treatment of Stephen, to be careful. People can be sensitive to any change. A change as big as this could bring out a strong reaction. You may recall from Acts 7 how the people rose up and argued against Stephen who was sharing the Gospel. Luke writes that Stephen was:

“Full of grace and power,” and, “Performing great wonders and signs among the people.” – Acts 7:8.

Stephen would eventually be stoned to death. The jealous leaders of the day were bearing false witness about Stephen saying:

“For we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us.” And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel. ” – Acts 6:14-15.

People in positions of power generally do not respond well to change. They can see change as a threat to the preferred status and treatment they have come to enjoy and expect.

Opening up the gospel to everyone was a glorious thing for the world. Yet, for those in positions of power, they saw change as a threat to the comfortable lifestyle they enjoyed, and they did not want to give up.

This did not deter Peter from doing what the Lord called Him to do. He went on sharing the good news about Jesus, and so should we.

Jesus said, in what is commonly referred to as, “The Great Commission”:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Mathew 28:18-20.

We are commanded to share the good news of Jesus with everyone. We are told to, “Make disciples of all nations.”

As the Bible teaches us, others may not always be receptive to the message that we are sharing with them. That must not detract us from attempting to share God’s word. Some will be receptive, and the heavens rejoice over every saved soul!

Thank you for studying with us today!  Please join us again tomorrow as we look at Acts 12 and the power of prayer.  May God’s blessings be upon you until then.  Amen

Comments

Michael

In the US, churches are seeing declining numbers across the board.

The world promotes greed and climbing the corporate ladder as their idea of success.

But these obstacles are also opportunities.

The light shines brightest in the darkness.

The world needs to hear from Christians about the good news of Jesus.

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