Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Acts Day 124 - A Tale of Two Kingdoms

10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour (3pm) of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!”
4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?”
So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.” 7 And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. 8 So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.

God talks to Roman soldiers? Some would say "Of course, God talks to everyone". However for others this is a radical, even heretical concept.

Make no mistake, we live in a world where we are being pushed to build walls every day. We are being conditioned to put people in boxes. The Jews of Jesus' day were extreme in their box making. Non-Jews fell into one of two categories. You were either a half breed Samaritan or a Gentile. The Samaritans couldn't be disowned completely because after all they were their cousins, descendants of the 10 northern tribes that split off when King Rehoboam refused to lower the taxes but increased them instead. In time the northern tribes were conquered by the Assyrians and partially assimilated thus the label "half breeds".

In the Jewish mind God only spoke to Jews. God only had regard for Jews. God's promises only applied to Jews. The Messiah was only coming for the Jews. Everything was about and for them. It's important to understand all that because Acts 10 opens with the God of Abraham speaking a Roman centurion in Caesarea. Heresy. Can't happen. Not possible and yet it's happening... It kind of makes sense that God would speak to "bad" people since Abraham himself was the son of a pagan idol worshipper.

I know people who get very offended when anyone says Muslims worship the same God as we Christians do. They believe Muslims worship a different God. I get it because it is partly true yet not. First of all there is only one God. Since there is only one God how is it possible for anyone to worship a different God?

To that question they will say that Muslims are really worshipping Satan. I agree that some of them are just as some Christians are. There are only two kings right? Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. Satan is temporarily the king of this world. Jesus is the Light of the world. Satan is the prince of darkness. The fruit that comes from worshipping Jesus and being filled with His Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. The fruit of worshipping the prince of darkness is hate, war, a short fuse, bitterness, harshness, and the complete loss of control.

There are only two kings and two kingdoms. Our place of birth, our skin colour, our gender, our religion, our nationality, none of that prevents God from seeking after us nor prevents us from having the right to choose His kingdom. Cornelius may have seemed an unlikely candidate for God's kingdom but somehow God reached him. Now God wants to connect him with others who are part of His kingdom. God is about to tear down a wall and use the bricks to build a bridge that extends all the way from a Roman centurion's home in Caesarea to children of Abraham from Judea.

ISIS may be under demonic control but that does not mean the God of Abraham does not speak to Muslims or anyone else. Remember Jesus knocked down walls and disregarded all borders. Are we part of His kingdom or not?

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