Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Are we prejudice with the gospel?

As "Christians" comfortable in our churches and denominations and social classes and demographic areas, are we subconsciously prejudice with the gospel? Take a step back and look at your circle of Christians. How many are of not only different races but different socioeconomic areas of society? I bet to say that not too many are. The question is why is that? The reason I see is comfort. We are creatures that like comfort. We are comfortable in holy huddles that are people similar to us and to step outside that huddle would cause some discomfort.

Now most, if not all of us would deny this but I ask that we again take a step back and look inward. Jesus commands believers to take the Gospel to all nations. We have heard this all our lives right? Think about what that means. Believers are commanded to take the Good News of Jesus not only to the peaceful, kind peoples that are similar to us but this means to take the Gospel to the door of our enemy.

As I listened to a message that spoke of Stephen and Saul of Tarsus who later became the Apostle Paul, I began to contrast the two. God chose to save Stephen, to be an heir with Christ Jesus (Romans 8) and this was determined at the beginning of all things. But what about this Saul of Tarsus who held the cloaks of those that bludgeoned Stephen to death with stones as he prayed for their forgiveness? What about Saul who cheered on the murderers and then earnestly pursued others who God chose and had faith and drug them away and threw them into prison? As we see Jesus seeks him out and saves him too.

What this means is God chose to call Paul a child of His, before the foundation of all things. Proof of this is in Gal. 1:15-16 "15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; " 

Fast forward a few days when God comes to Ananias and tells him to go to Saul, this persecutor of Christians and welcome him into the fellowship of believers. Ananias' response is really no different than any we would probably give. He asked God if he really wanted  Saul. I could just hear him asking God "are you sure that guy".

Here is my point. How many times do we consciously or subconsciously ask God, that guy? Really? When we do that we are really saying to God they are not worth saving. But in reality are we? Salvation is up to God and God alone. Romans 9:15-16 says For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

If God can save and transform a guy like Saul and make him the apostle Paul that penned so much of the New Testament, then how could we ever say or think "that person, really?" We should never underestimate the power of the Gospel and God's plan from the beginning of all things. We should just trust Him and look for ways to tear down and prejudices we may have and make Jesus famous.