People God Shows Special Interest In

People God Shows Special Interest In
How many times have you heard that all mankind are rotten dirty, filthy sinners, and that there is no action that could be done by any man that would please God before they become God’s child.

Yet we are constantly hearing of people in other religions that seem to be selected by special care and specific design of our Dear Creator. This selection process we have been led to believe is supposed to be called the “limited atonement”. Yet the Scriptures record that there are certain people that “work righteousness” and “fear God” and are duly accepted by God as candidates for salvation. Their deeds are not accepted as being able to buy their salvation, but they provoke God to provide them salvation and He makes sure that such people get that saving grace.

Let’s look at the Bible because it is the absolute truth on this matter.

The Man Cornelius is introduced as a the first Gentile believer in the book of Acts chapter 10. Now this man was recognized by God in a specific way and God was so overwhelmed by this unregenerate man’s good deeds that He held this testimony of that man.

Act 10:1 There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, who was a captain in the Roman army regiment called “The Italian Regiment.”
Act 10:2 He was a religious man; he and his whole family worshiped God. He also did much to help the Jewish poor people and was constantly praying to God.
Act 10:3 It was about three o’clock one afternoon when he had a vision, in which he clearly saw an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius!”
Act 10:4 He stared at the angel in fear and said, “What is it, sir?” The angel answered, “God is pleased with your prayers and works of charity, and is ready to answer you.

Now traditionally we have been taught that every deed done by a person that is not a Christian is worthless rubbish because of the doctrine of “total depravity”. So what of this man Cornelius? This man’s deeds were not only good but were made a constant memorial before God. This means God had a reason as to why Cornelius had been chosen for this grand privilege to receive the first blessing of Salvation to come upon the Gentiles.

So how can we know that he had done something to make him worthy to receive this gift?

Act 10:34 Peter began to speak: “I now realize that it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis.
Act 10:35 Those who fear him and do what is right are acceptable to him, no matter what race they belong to.

Here is the answer! How much clearer could it be explained? “Those(unregenerate people) who fear Him and do what is right are acceptable to him.” Oh but you might say that does not fit with Paul’s teaching and he made it clear that all the world’s deeds of righteousness are as dirty filthy rags and quoting from the book of Romans,

Rom 3:10 As the Scriptures say: “There is no one who is righteous,
Rom 3:11 no one who is wise or who worships God.
Rom 3:12 All have turned away from God; they have all gone wrong; no one does what is right, not even one.
Rom 3:13 Their words are full of deadly deceit; wicked lies roll off their tongues, and dangerous threats, like snake’s poison, from their lips;
Rom 3:14 their speech is filled with bitter curses.
Rom 3:15 They are quick to hurt and kill;
Rom 3:16 they leave ruin and destruction wherever they go.
Rom 3:17 They have not known the path of peace,
Rom 3:18 nor have they learned reverence for God.”
Rom 3:19 Now we know that everything in the Law applies to those who live under the Law, in order to stop all human excuses and bring the whole world under God’s judgment.
Rom 3:20 For no one is put right in God’s sight by doing what the Law requires; what the Law does is to make us know that we have sinned.
Rom 3:21 But now God’s way of putting people right with himself has been revealed. It has nothing to do with law, even though the Law of Moses and the prophets gave their witness to it.
Rom 3:22 God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all:
Rom 3:23 everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence.
Rom 3:24 But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.
Rom 3:25 God offered him, so that by his blood he should become the means by which people’s sins are forgiven through their faith in him. God did this in order to demonstrate that he is righteous. In the past he was patient and overlooked people’s sins; but in the present time he deals with their sins, in order to demonstrate his righteousness. In this way God shows that he himself is righteous and that he puts right everyone who believes in Jesus.

When we look at this we are stunned at God’s exposure of man’s depravity, but because these other scriptures are seemingly contrary to this revelation we must look at it in a clearer light. The fact is, not everyone is a blood thirsty murderer and obviously from Acts 10 we find that some people not only fear God but pray to Him and worship Him constantly. So with such an evidence we must ask as to why it is that this classification is cast at all mankind. I feel that the answer here must come from the words of Christ.

Mat 23:34 And so I tell you that I will send you prophets and wise men and teachers; you will kill some of them, crucify others, and whip others in the synagogues and chase them from town to town.
Mat 23:35 As a result, the punishment for the murder of all innocent people will fall on you, from the murder of innocent Abel to the murder of Zechariah son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar.
Mat 23:36 I tell you indeed: the punishment for all these murders will fall on the people of this day!
Mat 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and stone the messengers God has sent you! How many times I wanted to put my arms around all your people, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not let me!
Mat 23:38 And so your Temple will be abandoned and empty.
Mat 23:39 From now on, I tell you, you will never see me again until you say, ‘God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”

So here we see that sins that these Jews had not committed would be held to their account because they resisted the grace of God. It is clearly recorded in verse 37 the reason why they were to inherit the guilt for those sins and it is in these words “but you would not let me”. They refused to come to the call of God through His messengers.

All of mankind is sinful but not all mankind fit every category of sin in those scriptures of Roman’s chapter three. Even though they are innocent of those big sins at the point of their, resisting grace, they will also inherit the guilt for them.

This is how I see it by comparing these scriptures in contrast to what is clear to us of Cornelius. Obviously Cornelius was a sinner just like everybody else, yet he had shown by his human desire that he wanted to fear God and showed it by his kind deeds. This in itself could not accomplish his salvation but God knew that this man was desiring to please Him. So God saw his heart desire and responds to his heart desire by sending the means by which he could be saved. I call to remembrance a the words of Christ,

Mat 5:6 “Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully!

The sinfulness of man is true but the doctrine of total depravity is flawed and proven so by those Scriptures of Acts chapter 10.
Here’s the facts, God had a reason as to why Cornelius was selected to receive salvation. He chose Cornelius because Cornelius was hungering and thirsting after righteousness. God is looking for them and they are and will be accepted with all others who come to the cry of the gospel.

There is a way to be proclaimed worthy of the Gospel and also a way to judge yourselves unworthy of it according to the Apostle Paul, here’s how one judges themselves unworthy.

Act 13:46 But Paul and Barnabas spoke out even more boldly: “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. But since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we will leave you and go to the Gentiles.

The Jews are here showing that they, in their unregenerate state are, “judging themselves unworthy of eternal life”. Because of our sovereign free will to choose, if we hear the gospel and accept it we judge ourselves worthy of eternal life. If there was no free will, it would be God judging us unworthy of eternal life or imposing eternal life on the others. That is not the true gospel. When the Bible says “whoever wants to, let them come” that means it is everyone’s free will choice that after hearing the gospel they accept it then become the children of God.
We see in those scriptures in Matthew chapter five making it forever certain that God provides the way of salvation but makes the free will choice of the individual a personal responsibility. Jesus wants to gather them under His protective arms but they refused to come and that act of rejection broke His compassionate heart. If all depended on God including such free will choice He would not have been sorrowing over Jerusalem at all. The absolute reason He sorrowed over them was because though He was sent to them, it depended on them to accept His fatherly care.

If you thought you could not come to God for any reason I want to tell you right now, If you come to God He will come to you and provide you everything you need to live right in this dark world. He sees your heart and though you know you’re a sinner, if you hunger to be on the right path He will provide it for you. Just come to Him by faith. You come to Him and He will run to you. How do you come to Him? With sorrow for your sins and grief for all the bad actions in your life. He will then change your spiritual heart and you will be completely new.
Anthony Clinton 7th of March 2014

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