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  • Writer's picturePastor Tony Pierce



Today we begin reading the book of Joel. The name Joel means, “Yahweh is God”. Joel was a minor prophet who spoke for the Lord in the reign of Joash prior to the fall of Judah to Babylon. God was punishing Judah for its disobedience by sending a huge swarm of locust as both a punishment, and a warning. Joel, even with his name, was called to remind the people that Yahweh is God, that He is sovereign, and that the people needed to return to unadulterated worship of Yahweh. Joel called them sleepers, referring to the fact that they were spiritually asleep. He called them drunkards, referring to the fact that they were spiritually controlled by other spirits, other than the Spirit of God. Joel called them to grieve and mourn over their spiritual condition, idolatry, and disobedience to God. He reminded them that God had sent warnings in the past, such as drought, but they did not listen. Now He has sent the locust, sadly once again they will not listen. We are somewhat ego-centric, some more than others. But, we are also what I call, “Theo-centric” …that is we think and act as if God is only for our little group, whatever that group might be. Peter, and the rest of the Jews that had come to faith in Jesus, believed that the Messiah was only for them…just for the Jews. (Isn’t it interesting that we live in a time when many, even in the church, believe that Jesus is only for the Gentiles). God was about to stretch Peter, his theology, and his soteriology. Cornelius, a Roman centurion, who fear God, needed to come to salvation in Jesus. He sent messengers to get Peter, so that he could be told the Gospel. Up until this time Peter had the attitude that salvation from God through Jesus was for the Jews, not for he Gentile “dogs”. God uses a sheet from heaven filled with all kinds of animals and living things that we unclean to the Jew…God told Peter to kill the animals and eat them. Peter said, “I cannot eat anything unclean”. The Lord said, “Peter do not call anything I declare as clean to be unclean”. The point of this was not about the animals, but about Peter’s attitude toward the Gentiles. Peter got the message, and a change of heart, and he went and preached the Gospel of salvation to Cornelius and the other Gentiles. Salvation in Jesus does not belong to one group…but to all people. Our commission to preach the Gospel to all people…for Jesus died for every distinctive group of people on the earth.

Please share your thoughts.


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