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Calling All Gentiles

The word Gentile in the New Testament sometimes has a negative connotation. The Greek word most often translated to Gentile is ἔθνος (éthnos). This word means nations or people. In the Bible, when this word is used, it is not describing one nation or ethnic group, rather the term Gentile refers to anyone who is not of Jewish descent. Gentile would also broadly describe those who do not believe in God. PG – you and I – we’re Gentiles. We’re not a part of the Israelite nation, we’re not Jews, but guess what, we ARE a part of God’s promise! We know that through one man, through Abraham, all the nations of the world would be blessed. Our promise and our salvation are through Jesus Christ, and He was a Jew by human descent. Jews in Jesus’ time didn’t mix with Gentiles. The Romans who ruled over and persecuted them were Gentiles. So, Gentiles were hated by Jews.

In Acts 10 & 11, we read the account of the apostle Peter at the house of Cornelius, a Gentile. Cornelius has a vision where he sees an angel of God. The angel tells him to send for Peter who is staying at Joppa. Peter simultaneously has a vision where the Lord instructs him to take and eat any of the animals the Lord shows him, including animals that Jews were not permitted to eat.

Peter is in shock: “’Surely not, Lord!”’ Peter replied. ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’” And the reply, “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean!” While trying to decipher what the vision meant, Cornelius’ servant arrives with the invitation to come. The Bible tells us that “Now while Peter was mulling over the vision, the Ruach said to him, “Look here, three men are looking for you. But get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitating, because I Myself have sent them.” Here is God making what the Jews had so far considered unclean and unholy, clean and holy. The same God who chose Abraham and his family, also chose the Gentiles. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is also the God of ME!

The apostle Paul is one of my personal heroes. Without Paul, the gospel of Jesus Christ might never have reached us in in the Western world when it did. In Acts 16, Paul has a vision of a man calling him from the region of Macedonia, pleading with him to come and help! So instead of proceeding east into Asia during his missionary travels, Paul headed west and created a gateway for the gospel to keep heading west and eventually meeting you and me! Paul was called to be THE instrument by which the gospel would reach the Gentiles. In Acts 9:15 the Lord says to Ananias about Paul “‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.’” God loved us enough to choose a passionate man of God to evangelize directly to the Gentiles and bring us into His family.

So, Preacher Girl, if you’re feeling invalid today, know that God made such a special provision for you. If you’re feeling left out, know that you are included in the greatest family of all, Jehovah’s. When everyone else discounts you, know that your God accounted for you. In Romans 9:25, Paul quotes the prophet Hosea, “I will call those who are not my people - my people and her who was not loved, beloved.” The word beloved here is the Greek word ἀγαπάω (agapaō) and it means to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, and to love dearly. People might not be okay with the fact that God called you PG, but the fact is that He DID call you. He loves you. You are His beloved.

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