Most people have probably never heard of what I consider to be the most important letter ever written in the history of the world. This letter was written around 50-60 AD and sent from Jerusalem to Antioch in Syria.
Why is it the world’s most important letter? Let me explain. After Jesus’ death, resurrection, and the Pentecost experience of the Holy Spirit, His followers were changed from cowards into bold, passionate soldiers for His cause. Thousands joined their number and were willing to die rather than deny their relationship with the living Jesus Christ.
Almost all of the early followers of Jesus were Jews and those who weren’t had to accept Jewish dietary and religious laws along with their commitment to Jesus. Paul of Tarsus, however, began preaching to and converting thousands of non-Jews (Gentiles) and not requiring them to live by Jewish laws.
This offended many of the Jewish followers of Jesus, so Paul traveled to Jerusalem to meet with some of Jesus’ original disciples there. They listened to Paul’s case and decided that non-Jews could be Christians without obeying Jewish laws.
To communicate their decision, they sent a letter to the non-Jewish followers of Jesus. It read: “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements. You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”
Why is this the world’s most important letter? This letter freed Christianity from Jewish ritual and regulations and opened it up to all who are willing to follow and obey Jesus Christ.
(You can read more about this letter in the New Testament book of Acts, chapter 15) Do you have a nomination for The World’s Most Important Letter?