“And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending being let down by it’s four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.’ And the voice came to him again a second time, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ ~ Acts 10:10-15
This passage is incredible and it speaks just as loud today as it did to Peter so many centuries ago. Peter was still in the mindset, seeing through the paradigm, of clean and unclean. Jew and Gentile. He had not shifted his thinking to see all men as forgiven and redeemed. It begs the question, however, were the men the Lord was talking about clean or unclean? By the Lord’s words they were clean, though they had not yet received the good news of Christ crucified and resurrected. God has said that all men are forgiven and redeemed through the blood of Christ. Whether we accept or reject the truth of that is up to us. But God clearly calls all men clean. Jew or Gentile, believer or unbeliever.
Where does that put us? We often put ourselves above non-believers and think that we are better than they are. That we are worth more to God. However, Jesus has called us to be servants to the world and that puts us lower than them. When we die and enter heaven we will be called great, this is true, but we are not living in heaven right now. Here on earth we are to be called least. We are to be servants of all just as Jesus was. We have no right to judge others. What right do we think we have to call common that which God has called clean. We do it every day. How many “Christians” are at an abortion clinic on the picket lines instead of on their knees? How many are on the streets calling down fire and brimstone rather than love and peace?
Bill Johnson said recently in a sermon that many believers would never condemn another believer but have no problem with condemning themselves. What right do we have to condemn someone that God has forgiven? Not only do we condemn unbelievers, we also condemn ourselves. And a lot of us think we are right to do so. We say things like “God is pointing out my faults so I can repent.” It’s true that God loves us enough to tell us when we are straying from the path. However, God never wants us to live in condemnation. We are forgiven people. We all are. Even those who don’t receive or believe it. It’s time we start living that way. Rise up church. Rise up and love. The world is crying out for the true believers to make themselves known and show them that there is a better way. Let’s show them the Way that is Jesus, the Christ. Savior, Redeemer, Lover of our souls, Truth, Light, Lion, Lamb and Son of the one true God, Yahweh.
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