You Mean God Offers Repentance Even To Them

“If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”

Reading through the book of Acts of the Apostles, we come to the stories of what happened after Saul (later Paul) went on a rampage against the new Jewish sect. It’s the Law of Unintended Consequences. Step 1, the believers scattered and left Jerusalem. Step 2, they went into non-Jewish areas. Step 3, they taught and found willing converts among non-Jews. Some of those received the Holy Spirit.

So Peter was out checking up on this unexpected phenomena when he was visited with a vision from God. He was told that what he had been taught and how he had believed for his entire life was now upended–wrong.

He went to the house of a Gentile, went into the house, ate with them, slept (evidently) in their house. He also preached to them and baptized them with water and the Spirit.

Then he returns to the headquarters. The rest of the leadership confronted him with his wrongdoing.

Peter concludes his defense with those words quoted above.

Read that story from Acts 11, with feeling. See if you can express these last three sentences with the surprise and shock that they must have been uttered.

Then think of today. Think of fellow Christians whom you believe cannot possibly be “Christian” because they have different colors of skin or vote the “wrong” way, or don’t pray with the same words exactly or … or … or ….

Then say it, with feeling, maybe even with five-part harmony (if you get the musical allusion), “You mean God offers repentance that leads to life even to them!?”

Yep!

Hint–maybe you could invite them to your Easter celebration without hidden agendas. Just out of the love to share the risen Lord.

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