“A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway” (Acts 10:2).TEXT — Acts 10:1-8
Fanatics are those who seem to live in extremes. Many who are called spiritual “fanatics” are simply those who are more devoted than others. Some carry religion too far. They believe good works and almsgiving will take them to heaven. Others go to the extreme of punishing themselves as “penance” for sin or simply giving out their possessions to live a strictly disciplined life in a remote region.
Cornelius, the Roman Centurion in our text, prayed to the true God of heaven instead of the Roman gods he had known all his life. He feared God and gave to the needy and the poor. He was an influential man. An angel of God appeared to him in a vision to confirm that his prayers and alms giving have ascended unto the Lord; but he was yet to have the saving knowledge of God. He was then commanded to send for Apostle Peter, who arrived and showed him the way of God perfectly.
Good works and almsgiving are commendable, but only after our sins are washed away, and we come to the saving knowledge of our Lord. Both are never enough to secure us a place in heaven without faith in the atoning work of Christ.
There are pastors who erroneously teach their congregations to give and ‘sow seed’, implying that such acts will be enough to secure the favour of God and get to heaven at last. Such is false teaching. Sowing seed and giving all kinds of offerings mandated by the churches of today cannot take anyone to heaven. It requires faith and trust in the redemptive solution executed through Jesus Christ on the cross.
Thought for the day
Our best gift to God is our hearts, washed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
- in one year
- JEREMIAH 51-52