Dear RCF Sisters and Brothers,
For over six years the issue of border security has been front and center in our national discussions. Politicians and pundits flood the airwaves 24/7 bloviating on the subjects of illegal border crossings, undocumented aliens, building a wall, legal immigration, and a pathway to citizenship. Each side of the political aisle says that the other side is not compassionate and does not have a proper solution to this crisis. In fact, they cannot even agree on what the present “crisis” actually is. What is clear is that there are innumerable people outside of the United States of America that want to get in.
When God called Abraham approximately 4,000 years ago He declared that all the nations (i.e. peoples) of the earth would be blessed through him and His descendants. The Jewish nation which descended from Abraham was to be a light to the nations which generously displayed the glory of the One True God. However, Abraham’s children’s earnest desire for fidelity to God’s Word and laws caused them to build walls around themselves in order to keep the immorality and heterodox beliefs of other nations away. Over the generations many Jews lost the vision for the spiritual redemption of non-Jews. Additionally, because Gentile nations often oppressed them, many Jews despised the Gentiles and didn’t believe them to be worthy of redemption.
This ancient wall between Jews and Gentiles stood tall and thick at the time Jesus lived. It took centuries to build and would not be torn down easily. Yet that is exactly what God desired Jewish Christians to do in the years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. God loved and had great compassion on those who were outside of Israel, and Christ made the way for them to be redeemed and become His children. It was time to let them in. Now it was up to Jesus’ apostles to use “the keys of the Kingdom” (Matthew 16:19) to open the door.
Join us this Sunday morning as we continue in the theme To The Remotest Part of the Earth, and our Discussion Bible Study in the History of the Early Church. Please prepare by reading the entirety of Acts 9:32 – 11:26. This week’s title is “The Border Crisis: God’s Path for Foreigners to Become Citizens”.
Attached is an outline (in two sizes) of the text we will be focussing upon this Sunday morning. Please print it ahead of time, as it will help you take part in the discussion. We will also have copies when we gather on Sunday morning.
Here is the Table Discussion Questions for Sunday:
- From which branch of ancient Judaism did most early Jesus followers come? Why?
- Which branch of ancient Judaism would be more likely to oppose Gentiles being an equal part of the new movement of Jesus’ followers? Why?
In this series we have already discussed the following texts and topics:
The New Era Begins: Acts 1:12-2:21
Who is to Blame for Good Friday?: Acts 2:22-23
The New Community Begins: Acts 2:24-47
The First Official Pushback Is Pushed Back: Acts 3
The First Official Pushback Is Pushed back – Part 2: Acts 4
God Elevates His Purity and His Principals: Acts 5:1-11
God Elevates His Purity and His Principals – Part 2: Acts 5:12 – 6:7
The Spark That Ignited The Flames of Persecution – Part 1: Acts 6:8 – 7:43
The Spark That Ignited The Flames of Persecution – Part 2: Acts 7:44 – 8:3
The New Community’s Pearl Harbor: Acts 8:1-25
Going Global: Taking The New Community International: Acts 8:26-40
Going Global: Taking The New Community International: Acts 9:1-25
Not “E Pluribus Unum”, But “Nos, Et Nos Nos”: Acts 9:26-31
We hope that you will join us online this Sunday morning or in person at Bay Lodge at 9:00am!
We love you all!
Jim and Jenny
Acts of the Apostles, Part 13 – Outline (PDF)