Isa 65:1 I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
Grace was given to the Gentiles , who believed the gospel message of Jesus Christ. The first thing that comes to mind is Isa 53.
Isa 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
Who has believed? Let's go on a quick tour through the scriptures to see who has believed.
Gen 15:6 And he (Abraham) believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
A reluctant prophet and the power of God
Jonah 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
The religious leaders had no faith, but the tax collectors and harlots believed the true report
Mat 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
Only one way of salvation: faith in Jesus
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Believe and become disciples
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Believe and love God most of all
John 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
John 12:43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Believe the testimonies
John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
The Gentiles believed
Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
Acts 13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
Acts 13:49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
Not by the law, but by faith are ye saved
Acts 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
Acts 15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
Acts 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
Acts 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
Acts 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Acts 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
James the head of the Jerusalem church regarding the Gentile Christians, gave them four things to abstain from: Idolatry, fornication, things strangled and blood. These all were practiced and accepted by Gentiles in their former way of worship, but were an offence to the Jewish believers. Man made idols of gods were to be put away as well as the eating of meat sacrificed to the gods. This was addresses by Paul in 1 Cor 8.
1 Cor 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
1 Cor 8:10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
1 Cor 8:11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
1 Cor 8:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
This was an offence to the Jews. Fornication involved temple prostitutes, widely accepted among the Gentiles, but not God's way. Things strangled were to be avoided for life is in the blood. The blood was to be spilled, a type of Christ's blood spilled, also a practice of the Jews. The blood was not to be eaten or drank, which was a common practice among the Gentiles.
Ask yourself, do you follow the abominable things of the world? Or do you come out of the world to please the LORD. Fornication, is common now in the world. They do not say anything about living together apart from marriage anymore. Things are so bad in the world that it is unlawful to speak against homosexuality. Values of the world are becoming opposite of those of God in his Holy Bible. The world lives in and values the things that God has told us not to do.
Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
1 Pet 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1 Pet 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Isa 65:2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
A disciple does the will of God, not his own will. How many of us give God our choices, rather than accepting his will? The rebellious walk in a way according to their own thoughts, to trust in their own wisdom, their own judgment, their own thinking, instead of obeying the LORD.
Isa 65:3 A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;
Idol worship was common. This is why the LORD allowed Israel to be taken captive. What things do we put ahead of our love of God?
Isa 65:4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
These things were unclean, against the law of Moses and an abomination to God. Do we willfully disobey God? More important than laws, is the authority behind them. If we disobey and treat God as if he were not real; where is the fear of God? If we love him and fear him, how can we do what he hates? How can we ignor the one we love and obey? Where is our hearts desire and what do we obey?
Isa 65:5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
I can see this attitude in many of the denominations and especially the pseudo Christian cults. We are the only true believers they say. But they are arrogant and rebellious. They speak with pride: "Our way is the true way, all others are wrong." Jesus is the way. This separates many religious people who add works to their form of religion as the only "true" way.
We hear the warnings; can we see?
2 Tim 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 Tim 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2 Tim 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2 Tim 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2 Tim 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Isa 65:6 Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom,
Isa 65:7 Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.
Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Pay day is coming; the day of reckoning. Will we join with the world and hide among the rocks at his appearance?
Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Will we only fear God at that time? Fear God now and do his will. He has given us much freedom and grace. Let's use it to advance his name and his kingdom. Do we continue to hear his voice calling us? Do we hear and turn to him when he cries Behold me? Or are we too busy doing our own will? Sometimes we are too busy doing religious things; too busy to hear Jesus when he desires to lead us.
God the Father made it clear
Mark 9:7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Take note and make adjustments in your life. Put God first and hear His Son. Hear him as he calls "Behold Me," and follow him. Lead us Holy Spirit in the will of God, not our own thoughts. Amen