Peter gave his first message about the risen Christ in Acts 2, citing the book of Joel:
"In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see
visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both
men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will
prophesy." Acts 2:17-18 (Joel 2:28-29) NIV
I had this thought this morning: All people God? How is that possible when all people are not in the household of faith in Christ? I mean, how, without Your Spirit living within them could they prophesy, have visions, or dream dreams of You, and spiritual in nature? I was puzzled to say the least because that goes against my personal belief that God works through those that are in Christ, not unbelievers.
I learned to disregard much of my "religious" thinking when I entered recovery. I heard the phrase inside my self, leave your religion at the door Keith. It is all about Jesus, knowing and pleasing God, and living a life full of, and directed by the Holy Spirit within me. Religion is worthless when religion is judgmental. Following that holy internal nudge, I began to hear for the first time, God speaking through the broken in recovery meetings.
I sought to understand this Joel/Peter message. This is what rocked my mental boat into a spiritual reality. As the Gospel has went forth following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus; a light came on in the world, bringing something other than salvation to whoever believes and repents to follow Christ. The active presence of the Holy Spirit in the world, opened up the darkened minds of mankind to more discovery, invention, and exploration.
The Light, as it was delivered to men through the preaching the Good News of reconciliation to God, came on. Even those rejecting the Truth, benefited from the Creator's presence in the world. I realize this to be arguable, as prior to this time, discovery and invention existed, the pyramids, the gardens of Babylon, the water systems of cities, the Roman roads throughout their empire. Furthermore, the argument of the Dark Ages and lack of anything new but plagues and wars. So, these arguments I acknowledge, but the Light had an enemy that was a sore loser, and did all he could to darken men's minds through the religious. Not all of the religious were in favor of controlling the minds of the unlearned and ignorant. The monks of Ireland began universities throughout Europe. Through education and literacy, the L