Their Rejection Became Our Privilege

When Jesus came to Earth, He came to God’s chosen people, the children of Israel. To our 21st century ears, He sounded harsh when He told one Gentile woman that helping her would be like throwing the children’s food to the dogs. He had already told her that He had been sent only to God’s lost children, the people of Israel.

In Acts, we see where the Holy Spirit guides Peter to accept the Gentiles as worthy of the Good News, and in chapter 11, we see these words, “They said, ‘we can see that God has given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.’”

What an amazingly important verse that we’ve probably skipped right past many times. See, my non-Jewish friend, this is where you come into the picture. Until this point, the privilege of repenting of sins and receiving eternal life was not a message shared by the followers of Jesus. Their message was for the Jews across the known world.

When God opened the door for non-Jewish people to receive salvation through Jesus, He fulfilled the ancient covenant promise to Abraham, that all the nations of the world would be blessed through him. The fulfillment was never meant to be that the Jewish people would become the most prosperous and then bless other nations with their generosity. Instead, it was the blessing of eternal life through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, a son of Abraham.

This is the good news! Jesus came for God’s lost children, but they rejected Him as their Messiah. They chose to believe He would never do it that way, so this carpenter from Nazareth could not, was not the long-sought Messiah.

When they did that, God opened the door for us, those born without a drop of Abraham’s blood. He said we’re worthy, too. He called us to the table to be seated with Him. What a privilege!

I wonder, have you accepted this privilege? You have been offered an amazing gift: eternal life. See, we’re all going to live forever, but only through salvation will that be true life. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through Jesus. Refusal to enter through Him leads away from eternal life and instead to eternal death.

Many think that choosing hell is no big deal, that it will simply be a continuation of the things they love on earth. Scripture says otherwise. Constant screams and wails, not party sounds. The unrelenting odor of strong sulfur, the kind that makes one nauseous. Incessant heat — worse than the worst on Earth. No relief. No breezes. No glass of water. No help whatsoever.

Even worse is the eternal absence of God. Not even the barest revelation of the Creator.

That also means that the things of God will be missing as well. No love. Nope. No one will like you. No one will want to party with you. Suspicion will rule the night that never ends, in you and against you. No joy. No peace. Remember the screams and wails? They will not end, and many will be yours. Patience will not exist, nor will kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and certainly self-control.

Nothing of beauty will be there in that fiery pit. Nothing of life. Those there will be alive, but dead, forever.

But God.

The Almighty made a way for you and me to avoid this horrible destination. He provided us the ability to choose life instead of this never-ending living death: The privilege of repenting of our sins and receiving eternal life. Not only will the decision to turn from wickedness to righteousness secure our eternal life, it will change our here-and-now life.

Today is the day to make a choice. What’s yours?

Faye Bryant

Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!