Acts 10 and 11:  A Cheerful Response to Necessary Theological Changes     
God performed a great work in getting Peter to meet with Cornelius the Centurion at Caesarea, where Peter witnessed to Cornelius—Acts 10:1-11:15. Later Peter had to defend his meeting with this gentile before critical Jewish believers in Jerusalem.  He told them how the Holy Spirit had fallen on all those gentiles who heard his testimony, much to Peter’s own amazement.  Peter responded to this shocking development that God was saving Gentiles by saying: “…who was I to think that I could hinder God?”

The believers, who were at first critical of Peter for eating and fellowshipping with uncircumcised people, finally praised God and said: “…then God also gave to the nations repentance unto life!” Acts 11:18. With this peaceful acknowledgment, the believers had undergone a monumental shift in theology without any rancor or rebellion.  The Bible describes the reverent attitude of these Jewish Christians who listened to Peter’s report: “when they heard this, they kept silent…” (11:18).

Believers in the gospel of Christ ought to manifest a similar reverent and submissive attitude to Paul’s words in Romans 5:18 and many other verses dealing with God’s universal plan: “Therefore as through one offense, adverse judgment into all humans; so also through one righteous act—life’s justification into all humans.” Modern disciples should change their theology of “eternal torment for lost people” by recognizing that God plans to reconcile them all (Colossians 1:20) and someday will become “…all in all” (I Corinthians 15:28.) Evangelical Christians today who are being exposed to much-neglected scriptures ought to show respect for God’s Word by “keeping silent and glorifying God…” (Acts 11:18), like the Jewish believers did when facing the  revolutionary theological news that the gospel was extended to the gentiles..

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