Thursday, July 28, 2016

30 A.D. – Acts 2-9

Tell Me A Story1st Person: I understand you’ve had a bad experience recently?
2nd Person: Yes, the assembly I visited Sunday was extremely racist.  Since I was different from them, they treated me as if I had leprosy.
1st Person: Really!?  Were they unkind to you?
2nd Person: Unkind?  They told me I wasn’t welcome in their assembly.  I explained to them that I believed and worshiped God, studied from their scriptures, and contributed to people of their race.
1st Person: I hate to hear how you were treated.
2nd Person: I was told that I could attend their assembly if I would go through a ritual that was required by them which was passed down from their ancestors.
1st Person: Who was that group?
2nd Person: They didn’t have a specific place to assembly.  They didn’t have signs or public announcements giving instructions on where they met or what they did when they assembled.  I did hear one of their number referring to themselves as “the Way.”
1st Person: Yes, I’ve heard of them.  They are the ones that are the new religion in town and started a few weeks ago.  I understand their leader was a criminal that died just outside our city.  They claim he was raised from the dead.  I think you would be wise in avoiding those people.  At least not until they come down off their “high horse” and stop believing God loves only their race.  You may be a barbarian, but you are a God fearing one!  Besides, this surgery they demanded of you is too gross to talk about, much less submit to as an adult.
2st Person: I guess you’re right.  How could such a racist group like that have the truth?

15 YEARS LATER – Acts 10-15

2nd Person: You remember that group that was racist and didn’t want me joining in on their assemblies?
1st Person: Yes, the one that started on Pentecost in Jerusalem a decade or so ago.
2nd Person: I attended one of their assemblies in Corinth and I was so impressed.  I was amazed at how they were capable of convicting me of my sins.  They preached to us about that criminal we talked about 15 years ago.  The one named Jesus.  I was so convicted that I fell down on my face and worshiped God (1 Corinthians 14:24-25).
1st Person: You did WHAT?
2nd Person: I fell down on my face and worshiped God.  I admitted that they worshiped the true God.
1st Person: Wait a minute!  You mean they didn’t tell you that you couldn’t worship God without first becoming one of them?  Weren’t they horrified that you fell down in the floor as worship?
2nd Person: No.  They never required the surgery part!  When I did get up I asked them when I could be immersed like Paul was teaching (Romans 6:3-6).
1st Person: You’re telling me that they immersed you without requiring the surgery?  They wouldn’t accept you 15 years ago unless you would undergo their surgery that Abraham started, yet now they have immersed you without it?
2nd Person: Yes, I followed my Lord and was buried with him by immersion into his death and was raised as he was in his resurrection, and I now experience his new life of forgiveness and righteousness!
1st Person: Well, isn’t that something?  Why did you change?
2nd Person: I’m glad you asked.  Let me tell you about Jesus!