God’s All-Inclusive Family Policy -- By: Charles R. Landon, Jr.
PP 10:4 Fall 1996) p. 3
God’s All-Inclusive Family Policy
The Rev. Charles R. Landon, Jr., is Executive Director of Churches United of the Quad City Area, Rock Island, IL, and is also a Baptist Pastor. This article was adapted from a sermon given on May 26, 1991, and was first published in Watchword. Sept/Oct 1991. The article is reprinted by permission of the author.
(ACTS 1:12-14; 2:1-4, 17-21)
It is interesting to see how many times the word “all” occurs in the opening verses of the book of Acts. After identifying those who were included in the early followers of Jesus in the first chapter of Acts, we read in verse 14, “They all joined together constantly in prayer.” Worship was no longer something only for the older men; now it is for all. They all gathered together in that prayer time. Chapter 2:1 tells us that, “When the day of Pentecost came they were all together in one place.” The fellowship included all who would let themselves be a part of it. Chapter 2:4 announces, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Savior enabled them.” Ministry included all of them: men and women, young and old, rich or poor. All were filled with the Holy Spirit.
We read in Chapter 2:5, “Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.” We understand that for Luke that meant all of the nations of the world known to him at that time. We understand now how many nations there are in the world, how many language groups, how many people groups. God says, “The message of evangelism—the invitation— is to every single nation, people group and language group; no one is excluded.” In fact in Chapter 2:17 we read that God says, “I will pour out My Spirit on all people.” Every single person is a candidate in God’s eyes to receive new life and the gift of God’s Spirit, so that in verse 21 Peter concludes the quotation from Joel, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Think of that! Every single person who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Today, however, some individuals and even denominations have lost sight of the fact that God’s family policy is an all-inclusive policy. For God, the only exclusion is self-exclusion. The only people who will not be a part of God’s family are those who have excluded themselves...
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