Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. (Acts 11:19-21)
In the Book of Esther, Esther and her Uncle Mordecai assimilated into Persian culture. They did not reveal that they were Jewish nor did they practice many of the Jewish traditions. If they had been exclusive, God wouldn’t have been able to use Esther. She wouldn’t have become queen nor would she have been able to save her people when King Xerxes sent out a proclamation to kill all Jews.
The ministry of the Jews from Jerusalem, who ministered exclusively to Jews, was not nearly as fruitful as the ministry of the Jews from Cypress and Cyrene who assimilated into the culture where they were living and shared the Gospel with everyone as Jesus commanded.
I don’t think it is wrong to belong to exclusive organizations such as Executive Ministries who minister to primarily the wealthy or Jews for Jesus who minister primarily to Jews. It is difficult for both of these groups to submit to Jesus, and I know God calls on certain people to minister primarily to these and other groups. But Christianity shouldn’t be exclusive. In our everyday lives, we should love the owners of our company as well as the housekeepers and the homeless walking down the street outside of our buildings. We should worship in places that are all-inclusive or the Lord’s hand won’t be there.
Father, I praise You for Your unconditional love. Give me courage to seek answers to questions like: “What would my needs be if I was poor, if I was widowed, if I was wealthy, if I was a child…” and to go outside my comfort zone to minister to others whom I don’t know. I want to do what you have commanded: to make disciples of everyone and baptize them in Your name. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
2 thoughts on “Acts 11:19-21 – What does the Bible say about exclusion?”
Wow, fantastic blog structure! How long have you ever been running a blog for? you make blogging glance easy. The whole look of your website is magnificent, let alone the content material!!
I have been blogging for about three years. Thank you for your encouragement and coming to my website. Isn’t it wonderful that God blesses us when we don’t exclude. I prayed for you and your family today and hope you know how wide and long and high and deep God’s love is for you. Blessings, Jody