No one is too far gone
From Acts: A 28-Day Devotional
Peter explains that it’s OK for Christians to eat with non-Jews, something they would never have done before. More and more non-Jews start believing in Jesus, so the Christian church sends Barnabas to encourage them.
The fact that God made salvation possible for people outside of Israel broke thousands of years of religious tradition. In this period, Jews would not even associate with non-Jews, who were called Gentiles. They were considered the low rung of society, cursed by God and unfit for interaction with a holy people. However, Jesus makes it clear He came to save the whole world, even those who at one time seemed unreachable (John 3:16-17).
The Jews had no reason to believe Gentiles were loved by God. But Acts 11:23 says when Barnabas arrived in Antioch he saw people who had been changed by the grace of God. God was active in Antioch long before Barnabas considered making the trip.
God’s saving power is not restricted by our sense of morality. God’s résumé is full of converted murderers: Moses, David, and Paul. We fit nicely on that list, too. It was our sins that crucified Jesus.
Before we give up on others, remember that God didn’t give up on us. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Who do you know who seems too far gone? It’s time to reach out.
- What does this passage teach us about God? How does it apply to you?
- Is there anyone in your life who you believe to be too far from God? How can you reach out to that person this week?
- Are you sharing Jesus' love with people who are far from God? If not, what stops you?