Jesus Came to Call the Sinners

This month, I am studying Acts and came across some things that are encouraging to me.

The Jewish leadership at the time persecuted both Jesus and the early Christians.

After Stephen is stoned, the people scatter.

…there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.

Acts 8:1b (ESV)

But it doesn’t stop there.

…those who were scattered went about preaching the word.

Acts 8:4 (ESV)

Philip proclaimed Christ in Samaria. Through the Holy Spirit, he brought a magician and an Ethiopian eunuch to Christ. These were foreigners previously avoided by the Jews.

Jesus appears to Saul in chapter 9, bringing Saul to himself. In response, Saul starts proclaiming Jesus in synagogues, Damascus, and Jerusalem.

In chapter 10, Peter realizes the Gospel is for non-Jews as well. God calls him to minister to Cornelius, a centurion, and his family.

Facing persecution, the Apostles and their followers continued to spread the Gospel. They didn’t just share it with the Jews in Jerusalem; they went beyond their borders.

Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but the sinners.

Mark 2:17 (ESV)

This Judeo-Christian nation is throwing away its heritage and persecuting Christians. As a democracy, and a government by and for the people, we have a responsibility to do what we can to stop this. But as we are all called to be ambassadors of God, we must not become discouraged by these events. We shouldn’t cower in fear or shout at those unwilling to hear the Gospel. Instead, we should share the Gospel with those who are willing to listen.

I think there are many who are willing to listen here in America, even if we don’t realize it. That is also why I have such a strong desire to serve in Japan; there are many sick there that the blood of Christ can heal.

Do you know anyone who is sick and willing to listen? What have you done to show them God’s love? Please share in the comments below.