The Middle of Acts
There are many verses that are conveniently ignored these days. If you were to try to list them all, you would have to choose large portions of many chapters. Sadly Paul’s books would probably be at the top of the list in many churches. Here is one verse that undoubtedly receives little study or attention in many churches. Of course I don’t know what every church teaches every Sunday so why would I say such a thing? Because churches teaching their Bible literally today are few and far between. Read the following verse found in the middle of the book of Acts.
And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. Acts 14:27
You might wonder why I chose this particular verse. Notice the word “opened.” If something was just opened then it would be stating the obvious to say that it was closed before, would it not? The literal interpretation of the Bible is regularly criticized by many Christians today. If you doubt this, do a few searches on dispensational Bible study and you will quickly agree. To this I just point to my Bible. But you do have to go a little further because everyone has a verse to prove anything they want to believe and teach as truth. What’s the difference? When dealing with doctrine for TODAY, I only point to scripture written for me to follow today. So what about this verse? Paul refers to the door of faith being opened to the gentiles. This should come as strange to you because you most likely hear teaching and preaching every Sunday from scripture PRIOR to this point in the Bible. You most likely accept many of the things Jesus said as information to the church today. If Paul said the door was being opened to the Gentiles in the middle of the book of Acts and even Peter was astonished with what happened at the house of Cornelius in Acts chapter 10, why then do I get called so many bad names just for teaching what the Bible teaches? I NEVER ask anyone to believe just what I say. I ask them to believe what the Bible says TO THEM. A simple concept that could open up God’s word to you like you can’t even imagine. But this concept is ridiculed, scorned, scoffed at and called every word your pastor learned in seminary. Every cult uses the Bible. Every denomination other than yours uses the Bible. Every JW that comes to your door has a Bible. Again I ask you what’s the difference. All pick and choose verses from wherever in the Bible they want if it seems to help their agenda. All these ignore the simple concept of not reading yourself into portions of scripture that says for itself that it was written to someone else. I would again call your attention to Acts 14:27. Why, when the Bible in the middle of the book of Acts very clearly says the door to the Gentiles was being opened can you claim that the information prior to this point is written directly to you?
This is a simple question that should have a simple response, “I Don’t” In the vast majority of churches today this is not the answer you will receive. Replacement theology and tradition has robbed Christians of the simplicity with which they could understand their Bible. This simplicity has been replaced by commentaries, preaching, and teaching that forces you into Israel’s program and Israel’s promises. Sure these promises sound great and I would love to have them to. But the Bible does not give these promises to you. God gave the earthly promises in the Bible to his earthly people Israel.
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Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul