TEXT: Acts 17:24-28
24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Dr. Tony Evans said, “Racism is not first and foremost a skin problem. It is a sin problem. See, when you believe that racism is a skin problem, you can take three hundred years of slavery, court decisions, marches, and the federal government involvement and still not get it right. But once you admit that racism is a sin problem, you are obligated as a believer to deal with it right away. As long as the issue of race is social and not spiritual, it will never be dealt with in any ultimate sense.”
Over one hundred years ago, in his classic work, The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois declared, “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.” As we look about us today in America, it can be said that the problem of the twenty-first century is also the problem of the color line. It would seem that, after one hundred-plus years of progress on the issue of race in this country, we would have reached some semblance of laying those old demons to rest. But we have yet to do so.
According to Pew Research this year, 71% of blacks and 56% of whites say race relations in the U.S. are generally bad. 65% of Americans believe it has become more common for people to express racist or racially insensitive views over recent years. And 45% believe it has become more acceptable for people to do so.
As with so many of the problems in this country, the church must also shoulder a large responsibility for the problem of the color line. We don’t like to talk about it, but the majority of Americans who bought and kept slaves in this nation’s history claimed to be Christians. Some even claimed that they were doing God service by bringing the “savages” from Africa in order to give them their version of Christianity. The Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., recently put on display a so-called “Slave Bible” that omitted 90% of the Old Testament and 50% of the New Testament and highlighted passages that slave owners could use to make the Negro slaves think it was God’s will for them to be in bondage. Last year, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary issued a report that recounted “the history of slavery and racism at Southern Seminary — from the school’s slave-holding founders in the 19th century to its segregation-defending faculty in the early decades of the 20th century.” At risk of sounding cliched, the Sunday morning church hour is still the most segregated hour in America.
It can honestly be said that not only the country, but the church, has a color line problem. And, as with any of the issues that the church faces, we must bring this issue under the searchlight of the Holy Spirit to expose it for what it is and bring it under the blood of Jesus Christ to wash us clean of it. And that is what we will be looking at from this passage in the book of Acts. It is fitting that we turn to the book of Acts for this mini-series because the early church dealt with and overcame the issue of division between races and ethnic groups. They did it, not through social programs, not through civil rights achievements, not through forums and seminars, but through the breaking down of barriers in church communities where people who once would have never mingled came together in the family of God after being washed in the blood of Christ.
John Fawcett wrote:
Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love;
the fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above.
Before our Father’s throne
we pour our ardent prayers;
our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
our comforts and our cares.
We share our mutual woes,
our mutual burdens bear,
and often for each other flows
the sympathizing tear.
When we are called to part,
it gives us inward pain;
but we shall still be joined in heart,
and hope to meet again.
If you are a Christian listening today, here are three things you need to do:
1. Confess and repent of your own sins. You already know what they are.
2. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ to repent of their sins and get back to their first love
3. Pray for souls to be saved, and do your part by witnessing to the lost.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.