Serving an international
Vol. 10 No. 8 August 2008
Since You Asked By Louis Rushmore
A discussion came up in our Sunday
morning bible class regarding
The following verses illustrate the attitude of God toward two types of souls who might appeal to him. “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry” (Psalm 34:15). “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). “Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD” (Proverbs 1:28-29). “The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29). “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard” (Proverbs 21:13). “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” (Proverbs 28:9). “Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings” (Micah 3:4). Cornelius was clearly not of the one group and as clearly one who possessed the qualities of the other group.
Now, remember that God authored two systems of religion
before the introduction of Christianity: Patriarchy and Judaism. God
Judaism to a small segment of the human population, the small nation of
People living under Patriarchy worshipped God according to the prescriptions of Patriarchy. People living under Judaism worshipped God according to the prescriptions of Judaism. Today, of course, all people are obligated to worship God according to the prescriptions of Christianity, because both Patriarchy and Judaism have been replaced with Christianity.
Cornelius, being a Gentile and not a Jew, I believe, was amenable to Patriarchy at the time of his prayer. He was a good specimen of a Patriarchal worshipper when he prayed, and at which time God decided to introduce Christianity to those still living under Patriarchy.
If, however, this is not the case (and it is not a critical issue now since all people living today live in the Christian dispensation 2,000 years this side of the commencement of Christianity), Cornelius would at least be an instance of the one kind of prayer that in a sense to which God will respond (in our day, providentially) by providing one an opportunity to hear the Gospel of Christ. God may not have heard Cornelius’ prayer in the sense of accepting him as a child of God, but rather being aware of Cornelius’ prayer, nevertheless responded by sending opportunity to him.
Was there a 50 day “Grace Period” between Jesus’ death on the
cross and the day of Pentecost, so if any righteous God fearing Jews or
Gentiles such as Cornelius would have died before hearing the gospel, they
would still be saved? Also, if that be the case and to be fair, would that
“grace period” need to be extended longer until everyone on earth had a chance
to hear the gospel as stated in
No, there was not a grace period between the cross and
Pentecost. However, another circumstance prevailed between the cross and
Pentecost that does not lend itself to application at any time beyond Pentecost
Cornelius was not approached with the Gospel of Christ
until 10 years after the birthday of the church in