Pastor Barry's "Chapter & Verse" Day 255
September 12, 2018; Acts 11:2; 100/260(III); ‘Contentious Religion’
Acts 11:2 And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him,
Peter returned to Jerusalem and was immediately confronted by the religious leaders when they heard that he went into the home of a gentile and ate with them. Think of this. Several people were born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit at Cornelius’ home and the religious leaders were angry about it. Religion is cruel. The religious Jews believed that the only use of gentiles would be to be kindling wood to keep the fires of hell burning. They would pray in the morning thanking the Lord that they were not a gentile of a woman. They were prideful, jealous (that is the reason they crucified Jesus) and greedy. The religious Jews were exclusive. Only Jews could go to heaven. Everyone else was excluded. Finally, they were hypocrites. They demanded that the Jewish people keep the Law, even though they did not and could not. Religion is deadly, dangerous and a tool of the devil to hinder people from turning to the Lord. It is no different today. Often, the Lord is judged by the people who represent Him. When those who do not have a relationship with Jesus, see the behavior of religious leaders, they say to themselves, “If this is Christianity, I do not want anything to do with it.” You cannot blame them. Praise the Lord that Christianity is not religion. It is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When we were saved, we received the nature of Jesus, which is love. We can treat others the way Jesus treats us. People so need this.