After posting this week’s Sabbath School commentary on my weekly blog called “The Teacher’s Notes”, I felt the message there was so important, it was worth repeating to those who may not be in the habit of reading my entire blog.
The part I would like to copy here was at the very end, my “conclusion”. It covers just one of the many barriers that our church and society must break down, if we are to be full members of God’s family. God has no favorites, Jew and Gentile are no different, as Peter discovered after receiving that vision of the animals coming down on a sheet from heaven.
What barriers are you still working on in your life?
Peter’s ministry was successful despite the immense challenges that were faced:
- Persecution intended to scatter–from outside sources, like King Agrippa, and harassment from the Jewish leadership, who did not accept Jesus as the Messiah.
- Barriers intended to divide–such as the struggle for Jewish believers to accept Gentiles fully into their fellowship unless they became Jewish first.
Unfortunately, God’s church still experiences similar challenges. All Christians find it difficult to escape some type of separation or dividing, either from those outside or even within their ranks. It often reveals itself in ugly ways, but always in some way that creates barriers for God’s people to carry out their mission of spreading the gospel.
For those who have “put on Christ”, Paul wisely told us…
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 NKJV
The gender barrier that Peter mentioned last here seems to be the hardest one to surmount. There has always been animosity between the sexes since the Fall in the Garden of Eden, but that does not seem to be God’s original intention when He created them so that “they shall be one flesh“ (Genesis 2:24).
Peter himself pointed out earlier in his Pentecost sermon a prophecy from Joel, which said “…I will pour out of My Spirit on ALL flesh; your sons AND your daughters shall prophesy..” Perhaps in the last days then, God’s church will finally recognize men and women as full equals when it comes to receiving His spiritual gifts. The gender barrier will also be gone, and at last God’s church will be fully united.
How much faster can our work be done,
when all (both genders) of God’s people are encouraged to be in full ministry mode?
(I can’t wait to find out!)