Pastor Barry's "Chapter & Verse" Day 264
September 21; Acts 21:19; 110/260(III); ‘Christianity vs Religion’
Acts 21:19 When he had greeted them, he told in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
Paul was in Jerusalem and he went to see James and the church elders, telling them all of the things the Lord had done among the Gentiles. The church, Christians, rejoiced for they now gladly accepted that the Lord cared about the Gentiles as well and saved them. The church realized that God the Father loves the Gentiles too and that the Lord Jesus died for everyone, not just the Jews. The leadership in Jerusalem asked Paul out of courtesy to the religious Jews who were suspicious of him to purify himself ceremonially. The Apostles knew these suspicious of Paul were baseless. The religious Jews from Asia, who had opposed Paul when he was there saw Paul in the temple and they recognized him. They also saw Paul with a Gentile and thought that Paul had brought the Gentile into the temple (which he did not). These zealous Jews wanted to kill Paul. The commander of the Roman garrison in Jerusalem was made aware of what was going on and he rescued Paul. Christianity opens its arms to everyone in love. Religion closes its fists in hate to anyone that is not considered part of who they are. Religion is such a tool of the devil. Its legalistic, meanspiritedness drives people away from the Lord. Nothing excites me more than the power of the Holy Spirit as He ministers in a service. But the bottom line for Christianity is love. Sincerely caring about everyone opens the door for salvation and a life changing relationship with Jesus.