søndag 24. juli 2016

Who are God’s people?

The question comes as a reaction to one of Paul’s visions:
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.
Acts 18: 9-10
The city was Corinth. Although Paul also there met resistance, he received a clear message that made him stay in the town and teach for 18 months. God must therefore have had a number of people whom Paul did not know anything about. The verse is complicated, because it can be misused as a defense for keeping the faith invisible. But, if the verse is read in context of the whole word of God, it is like a small sparkling diamond.

The coming of Jesus Christ "in the fullness of time" (1) and the rise of the Christian movement is the most dramatic paradigm shift in the history of the world.
Another verse comes to mind as I reflect on the information: “I have many people in this city” – May be it was the number of “ready” people that made the time right:

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
2 Chronicles 16:9
I believe God saw this was the case long before Paul came to Corinth. How "visible" are those who worship "the Father in spirit and truth" (2)? Another danger with the concept of the "invisible faith" is that it can make me relax, trap thinking that they are already "saved because of their wholehearted pursuit". But, it is important to remember the second perspective: 

The eternal God sees more than the "present moment". I believe it is possible that he also sees that they who wholeheartedly seek and worship God are likely to open up for the message about Jesus when they are introduced to him! I think this is how this verse should be interpreted.

I believe God has numerous people in every city – also in Chisinau where I live right now. The time will come when they with hearts fully committed will turn to him in enthusiasm over Jesus!

Today 'manna':

I believe that God wants his "invisible people" to be visible
(1) Gal 4:4
(2) John 4:23

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