A Place For Everyone
Session 1: “A Place For Everyone”
Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them. 5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.” 6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” 19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.” - Acts 15: 1-11, 19-21
“For God so loved the World, that He gave his one and only son.” - John 3:16
How can we help others understand we are A Place For Everyone?
Notice what he says in verse 19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. What he was saying is we should not make it difficult on those who are not “Church People” to turn to God.
It would be less difficult if . . . We Would Comfort Instead of Confront
Acts 15:1, 5
The Church should be a place where wounded and hurt people can come to be comforted and healed.
There are none of us perfect.
Romans 3:10: As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; Romans 3:23: For all have sinned.
We need to comfort and not confront.
It would be less difficult if . . . We Would Receive Instead of Rejecting
The church need to be a reflection of Jesus. One that welcomes and is a safe place. A place where people can be honest, open and transparent.
Woman Caught in Adultery John 8:3-11
We don’t condone sin but we don’t reject the sinner.
And then finally, It would be less difficult if . . . Relationships Were More Important Than Rules
Our church should be about reclamation. About going out and encouraging those who have been defeated by life to give it another shot. And this time I will walk with you, I’ll be there to help.
LIVE IT OUT
How Can we begin moving toward helping our church to be more open to those not like us?
How do you need healing, safety and relationships in your life today? This is what today is about.
Let’s not make it difficult for those turning to God!