Good News for Everyone: Chris W. Dial on Acts 8-10
Saying the Gospel is for everyone is obvious, but it not obvious to everyone. Even the early Jewish leaders did not recognize that it was for them. More accurately, they refused to see it was for them.
Peter and John had tried to teach them, but they and many Jews refused to hear anything about Christ. Instead, they authorized Saul to persecute the believers in the Way starting with Stephen. And all the Christians in Jerusalem.
So Philip went down to Samaria, where they believed and were baptized in Jesus' name. When the other Apostles heard the good news, Peter and John went down and laid their hands on them, filling them with the Holy Spirit. Then as Philip went South to Gaza, he met the Ethiopian eunuch. He taught the Ethiopian eunuch the scrolls he was reading from were from Isaiah. Then he baptized the eunuch.
After Jesus Christ called Saul to become His next Apostle, He told Ananias to go to him. After assuring Ananias that he would be safe, He told him that Saul would be sent out to teach the Gentiles. Soon after Paul became the newest Apostle, he first begin teaching in the temple. Then he was sent to Tartarus.
Peter, in a vision, was told to teach a Gentile by the name of Cornelius, a Roman Centurion. Peter taught Cornelius and all of his household, and baptized them, and caused them to receive the Holy Spirit.
These were the signs that the Gospel is for everyone now. Which we know is obvious. But it is not that obvious to everyone now. Not everyone believes in God, or that Christ rose from the grave for their benefit. It is not obvious to them, that they need God in their lives. It is not obvious to them, that they need Christ in their lives. It is not obvious to them, that they need the Holy Spirit to work in their lives.They don't see the obvious need to obey God's will. Or be part of His collective family. Instead, they see it is something they don't need. They don't see the obvious need to be part of a spiritual family. Nor do they see the obvious need to live their life according to God's will, instead of their own will.
We can invite them, give them literature, and do a lot of things to try to interest them in the Gospel. But the hardest part is making it obvious to them that they need God, that they need Christ, that they need the Holy Spirit, and they need to be a part of their family. The part that is not obvious, is how to show them that they have become oblivious to the obvious. What is obvious, is that perhaps we need to learn new ways to show people that they need God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit in their lives. It is obvious when something isn't working, then we need to switch to something else to get their interest. To help them see the obvious.
Chris W. Dial
Chris W. Dial was born in Miami, Oklahoma but grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the Church of Christ. He graduated in 1981 from Oklahoma Christian University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Bible. He attends Journey Church of Christ and works for the Tulsa County Court Clerk's Office in the Records Department.