“While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those (Gentiles) who heard the word.” Acts 10:44
It’s one of the most significant stories in the New Testament, the Gentiles being brought into the family of God. It had been prophesied generations before but it becomes reality in Acts chapter ten. There is some powerful truth contained in this story and if the twenty first century church can grasp it, it’ll be revolutionary at the very least! The issue at the center of this critical chapter is whether or not we can love the people that the Father loves, and whether or not we can love them ‘like’ He loves them. His love is not superficial, it’s not based on our behavior or our performance. Now, don’t get me wrong; He definitely wants our behavior to change for the better. He loves it when we’re obedient to Him by faith in the circumstances of life. After all, He wants to conform us into the image of His Son. But His love was given to us before we could do anything to earn it. In fact, His Word says, “God demonstrates His love toward us in that Jesus died for us while we were still sinners”. And, the issue is this; can we love those people and people groups that seem to be so separated from God, those that are thoroughly engaged in a sinful lifestyle? Religion and the religious mind would quickly say no. But not the Father! No, His love is unconditional and without limits. He loves the Buddhist as well as the adulterer, the lesbian and the hypocrite alike. And that love gives the sinner a chance to change. Until we in the church can love like the Father loves, we’re stuck in a lifeless organization that’s not much like Him.