Thursday, March 2, 2017

Are We Captivated by People Who Defy Our Ethical Reasoning?, God Doesn't Want Us to Put Down Other Cultures, Just and Interesting Tidbit Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling

And there was great joy in that city.  But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of god.  And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.  But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.  Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.  Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.)  Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.  And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whosoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.  But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.  Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.  Acts, Chapter 8, verses 8-22.

Some of the things that amaze me in this passage are related to Simon who could use sorcery to get a whole city to be in awe of him and the things he did.  If it was possible then, it makes me wonder if people in power, certain celebrities, religious leaders, etc. do the same thing now.  Are we captivated by particular people who defy all our ethical reasoning? I’m not sure on this one, but it makes me wonder about people in the media or some religions that get rich from people sending in their life savings to them.  This is just something to think about.
Additionally, when Simon saw the power given through the Holy Spirit when they were laying on hands, he wanted it too.  Rather than become committed to his belief in Jesus, doing it the hard way through changing his life, Simon picked the easy way out and thought he could have his cake and eat it too!  He thought he could live his worldly life and buy the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Well, Peter saw right through that plan!
The sad part of all of this is that I somewhat identified with Simon.  Sometimes I’m looking for the easy way out to accomplish God’s Will with the least amount of risk on my part.  I need to be more open to being the person that God wants me to be.

And he [Peter] became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air, And there came a Voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.  But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.  And the Voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.  This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.  Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate. And called and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.  Acts, Chapter 10, verses 10-18.

When I first read this, I thought it was speaking solely about people formerly not being allowed to eat pork and other foods which had been forbidden in past Bible teachings.  This passage has far-reaching ramifications.  Later on in the same chapter it further clarifies this passage.
And he [Peter] said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.  Acts, Chapter 10, verses 28. 
It goes on to say: Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.  Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come.  Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.  The Word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all).  Acts Chapter 10, verses 32-36. 
Furthermore it says: And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of the quick and dead.  To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His Name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.  Acts Chapter 10, verses 42-43.
Parts of the passage that I’m quoting are changing the way that Christians think about the social system.  In the past, certain nationalities or cultures were not to associate with others.  God shares His will with Peter through a dream, using food as a comparison.  Previously, certain foods had been considered unclean and not to be eaten just like there had been certain cultures of people who were not to associate with each other.  Through this dream, God says that all the foods are acceptable to Him in the same way that ALL people are His.  God doesn’t want His disciples just to preach to particular types of people or cultures.  Everyone needs to hear the Word of God.
It shows that God didn’t feel any one nationality, culture or race was better than another.  He wants everyone to have Salvation, not just certain people.  I think if this was important to God then, people should live their lives accordingly.
It’s sad to see and hear some supposed Christians talk negatively about people of different ethnic backgrounds.  I don’t think we are being the best example of how God works in our lives when we are putting down different cultures.  I don’t believe God wants us to think we are better than others whether it’s because they have a different ethnic background, different financial status, believe differently, etc.  I think He wants us to be compassionate and supportive of everyone, being an example of how He works in our lives. Click the title of this post to see other related Bible passages.

Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch.  And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.  Acts, Chapter 11, verses 25-26.

I just thought this passage was interesting because it tells about the origin of the term “Christians”.
(Sorry it's not more, but my postings are sections of the book: Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, so readers can get the information in the book for freeThis was just and interesting tidbit of information I found while was reading the Bible cover to cover. Debbie)

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

How to Know Jesus Is God's Son

Christian Overeaters Past and Present Support Link

Christian Overeaters Past and Present Support Link
Read 100s of Christian Overeaters Past and Present Blog Posts and You Tube Videos


Empower Orphans to Raise Their Siblings


A Gift of an Animal Can Change People's Lives