When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life (Acts 11:18).

There are at least two important things that we learn in this verse. The verse just prior to this verse tells us that God gave the GIFT to those who “believed” in the Lord Jesus Christ. We learn in that verse, once again, that salvation is a “gift” and it comes by belief in Jesus Christ alone. This verse tells us that “life,” meaning eternal life, is given by “repentance.” Does this verse mean that some gain eternal life by “belief” and others gain eternal life by “repentance,” or does it mean that these two seemingly different paths to eternal life are really the same? Since we know that the Bible does not contradict itself, we know that when “repentance” is used in conjunction with salvation, it means repenting of not previously believing and trusting in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life. Thus, the two verses mean the same thing and reinforce each other.

The second great truth here is that salvation is opened to the Gentiles, and is not exclusively for the Jews. We do know that the Jews are God's chosen people and that we who are Gentiles are always to treat them and bless them as such, if we desire God's blessing and not His curse (Genesis 12:2 - 4). Yet, a Gentile living just prior to God extending salvation to the Gentiles might have thought God to be unfair. All this would demonstrate is that such people, like us today, would not have known God's ultimate plan, which is always best. May each of us allow God to be the judge of what is fair. May each of us then act upon the knowledge that God has chosen to reveal to each of us today and, by believing and trusting in Jesus Christ, gain His great gift of eternal life!