The Breastplate of Righteousness

“…the breastplate of righteousness.”

“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness.” Ephesians 6:14

“…by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,” II Corinthians 6:7

Understanding figurative references in the Bible requires a bit of study. In the case of Ephesians 6:14 and II Corinthians 6:7 it is easy to see that the Apostle Paul used a military metaphor comparing a believer’s “righteousness” to a soldier’s armored “breastplate.” In these two verses the Greek term thorax is the word for “breast” and the translators rightly concluded from the context of the whole armor of God that Paul referred to the metal armor that covered a soldier’s torso. Whatever the design, whether mesh, small “scales,” plates, or a solid “heroic curiass,” the metal breastplate protected the fighter’s vital organs from arrows, spears, and swords.

How is righteousness like a soldier’s breastplate? Recall that Ephesians 6 began by telling us that we are engaged in spiritual warfare. So how does righteousness protect the believer like spiritual armor? Moreover, what does the Scripture consider our vital spiritual organ(s)?

Ancient peoples had a primitive understanding of the general placement and importance in the body of physical, anatomical organs. They knew that organs in the core of the body had to be protected at all costs to preserve life. They didn’t understand exactly how they functioned or how they depended on other organs. So, to explain the vitality of physical life, they thought of the heart and what they called the bowels (KJV) as the organs that made physical life possible.

According to Strong’s Concordance, the heart was the center of all physical and spiritual life; it was the home of the soul or mind, the fountain and seat of the thoughts, desires, affections, purposes, and the seat of intelligence, will and character.

Strong’s also points out that bowels were regarded by the Greeks as the seat of the more violent passions, such as anger and love; but by the Hebrews, as the seat of the tenderer affections, esp. kindness, benevolence, compassion.

The heart is the most vital “spiritual organ” in the believer’s life: “…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10

The apostle’s metaphor brings us to two important conclusions:

First, that our most vital spiritual organ must be protected at all cost. “Keep [guard] your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

Second, righteousness is our spiritual body armor. Only God’s righteousness that comes by faith can protect us from spiritual attacks. The arrows, spears, and swords of the enemy cannot harm us when God’s righteousness guards our heart. “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;” Romans 3:21-22

Stay alert! Put on your armor! March on!

 

The Belt of Truth

The Belt of Truth

“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth…” Ephesians 6:14a (NKJV)

The Roman soldier girded his waist with what is called in Latin a balteus. This piece of equipment served three vital functions— practical, identifying, and ornamental. It was practical because when worn over a chain mail or solid breastplate, it helped relieve the heavy weight of the armor on the soldier’s shoulders. Rings on the belt kept the soldier’s dagger (pugio) within easy reach. Second, Roman law said that only soldiers could wear a balteus. It immediately identified them as soldiers because they were required to wear it at all times, even when not in uniform. Finally, the belt and the straps hanging in front displayed the metallic emblems, badges, seals, and tokens from the soldier’s various assignments, service accomplishments, and battle campaigns.

The Holy Spirit is the inward mark of the believer–He is bound to the Christian with a permanent seal that cannot be broken or removed. (II Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30) The indwelling Holy Spirit is the source of all outward spiritual evidence (fruit).

Truth is one outward mark of the Christian—it is a daily emblem or badge to the world that we belong to Christ because the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17) is in us. In the book of Ephesians, where the Apostle Paul speaks about the belt of truth, he also mentions how we are to walk like the new men that we are because we are saved. “…but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up [mature] in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (4:15) “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’” (4:25) Like the balteus belts worn by Roman soldiers that identified them as military men, truth should be our characteristic mark wherever we go and whatever we do.

The Apostle John began his third epistle with an observation that nothing made him happier than knowing that his readers had God’s truth inside them (they were saved and the Holy Spirit of truth was in them) and that they were walking (living) in that truth. “For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in [the] truth.” (III John 3-4)

As we put on our daily armor in preparation for battle, let’s purpose in our minds to make truth our outward identification and badge! “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind…” (I Peter 1:13a) Especially in a day when truth is mocked and under attack, some might notice that our lives are identified by truth and ask us why that is. (I Peter 3:15)

Stay alert!   Grab your weapons!   March on!   SPEAK THE TRUTH!

 

 

The Whole Armor of God

The Whole Armor of God

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”  Ephesians 6:11-13 (NKJV)

Soldiers, this lesson is essential for our basic training in the use of our spiritual weapons—we must use the whole armor of God in our warfare!

This series will look at the spiritual weapons available to us to fight against our adversary: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8)

The term used by modern armies is “full-spectrum warfare” because it seeks to wisely draw from the full range of weapons available for a specific attack by the enemy. Our enemy is a wily, scheming, deceitful foe. We must make full use of the defensive and offensive arsenal which the Holy Spirit has already given us. It is He who will show us when and how to use those weapons.

 

Be alert! Grab your weapons! March on!

 

The Roman Praetorian Guard

“an ambassador in chains”                  Ephesians 6:20

…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:18-20

 

As we have seen in our study of Roman centurions, the New Testament mentions five centurions and points out the good qualities of four of them. Thus it would be wrong to say that all Roman soldiers were violent, cruel, crude, or without compassion. When it comes to Praetorian Guard soldiers, we need to separate their general historical reputation for ruthless brutality from individual soldiers we read about in the New Testament.

 

We know about the Pretorian Guard from secular Roman writings. They were an elite unit of several thousand soldiers headquartered in a castra or fortress in the middle of Rome. They were not “ordinary” Roman soldiers. They were like today’s SEAL/Delta Force chosen from among the bravest and most skilled warriors in the legions. Praetorians had a reputation in historical writings for being violent, corrupt, greedy, and immoral. They were also the Emperor’s closest bodyguards whom he used to enforce his decrees in Rome and surrounding areas. Their political power often exceeded that of the Emperor and not a few of Rome’s rulers were assassinated by their own bodyguards and replaced by men of the Praetorians’ choosing.

 

Accounts of Praetorians in the Book of Acts and the Epistles surprise us when they demonstrate the power of God at work in the hard hearts of Rome’s toughest soldiers. Centurion Julius, who escorted the Apostle Paul and other prisoners by ship to Rome, delivered Paul to the commander of the Praetorian cohort who assumed custody for the prisoners. Whether Julius recommended it or because Governor Felix commanded it, (Acts 27:43a; 24:23) Paul received favorable treatment from Praetorian soldiers during his two years of imprisonment. Paul had continuous contact with soldiers during those two years. He had his own living quarters and was allowed visitors. (28:16, 30) Secular historians (Tacitus, Seneca) describe how non-violent prisoners, in loose confinement and allowed to move around and have visitors, were chained to soldiers who took shifts so they knew the prisoner’s whereabouts at all times. Paul’s two years chained to guards under “house arrest” were very productive for the Gospel!

 

The Apostle Paul wrote four prison epistles while chained to a guard. Imagine being a tough soldier “forced” to listen to Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon as Paul wrote the inspired texts and possibly discussed them with his many visitors before sending copies to the recipients! Paul, God’s evangelist to the Gentiles, would have spoken freely and openly of the grace of God with any soldier so close to him. We know from two verses in Philippians that Paul’s time in prison was fruitful. People in unlikely places came to know Jesus as their Savior:

All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.” (Philippians 1:13)

So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;”  (4:22)

Who is Your Captain?

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

My fellow soldiers, there is a rumor being passed around by some of our troops that a soldier is the captain of his own soul.This is a lie! Each soldier must answer this question for himself: Who is in charge of my soul? His answer will take him in two possible directions, each of which will determine where he spends eternity after he dies. How will you answer this question?

Refuse to believe in Jesus Christ in this life and believe the lie that you are the captain of your own destiny. Do this and you will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire where you will confess forever with your lips that God is right—Jesus Christ is Lord.

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

I am the master of my fate;

I am the captain of my soul

Believe while you still have breath that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is Lord and that He died for your sins and arose from the dead, and God will give you eternal life. You will spend eternity joyfully praising Jesus Christ with your lips and thanking Him as the Captain of your soul.

I thank the God I know to be,

For Christ – the Conqueror of my soul.

Christ is the Master of my fate,

Christ is the Captain of my soul.

My Captain

by Dorothea Day *

Out of the night that dazzles me,

Bright as the sun from pole to pole,

I thank the God I know to be

For Christ the conqueror of my soul.

Since His the sway of circumstance,

I would not wince nor cry aloud.

Under that rule which men call chance

My head with joy is humbly bowed.

Beyond this place of sin and tears

That life with Him! And His the aid,

Despite the menace of the years,

Keeps, and shall keep me, unafraid.

I have no fear, though strait the gate,

He cleared from punishment the scroll.

Christ is the Master of my fate,

Christ is the Captain of my soul.

* Dorthea Day wrote this poem originally titled “Conquered” as a line-for-line response to a poem by the humanist William Ernest Henley titled “Invictus,” meaning “Unconquered” or “Unconquerable.”

The beginning and ending lines of each poem, quoted above, could not be more different:

Arrogant, self-reliant, angry, bitter—unyielding and defiant against God.

Humble, contrite, joyous, hopeful—submissive to Jesus Christ as Captain.

Centurion Julius

“And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. But the centurion, [Julius] wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.” (Acts 27:43-44)

 

The fifth and last centurion mentioned in the New Testament is Julius with the Augustan Regiment or Cohort. (Acts 27:1) The apostle Paul and some number of other prisoners (including apparently Luke the physician, from the “we” in his narrative) were put in the custody of Centurion Julius to be taken by sea to Rome for trial. We get a sense of this officer’s good character when the boat stopped briefly in Sidon, “…Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care.” (27:3) This is an unusually generous move by Julius. It’s possible that the centurion went easy on Paul because the apostle was not a violent offender and/or he knew the doubtful circumstances of his arrest. Two governors couldn’t figure out what crime Paul had committed, but they were obligated to send him to Rome when he appealed to Caesar.

 

The soldiers and their prisoners changed ships in Myra and the centurion hired an Alexandrian ship to take them to Rome. (27:6) It should be no surprise that when they ran into bad weather Centurion Julius deferred to the helmsman and owner of the ship rather than listen to Paul’s prediction of calamity. The consensus of the mariners was to continue on rather than anchor where there was little shelter. (27:10-12) Paul then predicted that if they stayed in the ship they would survive the storm. This proved true when some tried to leave the ship and perished. (27:30-32)

 

The shipwreck on Malta is filled with drama. Paul predicted that, “…not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.”  (27:34) By now the soldiers and the crew listened to Paul even though he was not a sailor. The ship ran aground and the waves broke the ship apart. The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners and save themselves, but Centurion Julius, much to his credit, put a stop to that. (27:43-44) Why did the soldiers want to kill the prisoners? If they let them go, they might overpower the soldiers and escape. The soldiers would be executed for not doing their job. What was the centurion’s motive for ordering the prisoners’ released? Besides a sense of responsibility and justice, it appears that Julius did this for Paul’s sake! (27:43a)

 

The soldiers and their prisoners survived on Malta and after three months arrived in Rome. “Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him.” (28:16) Centurion Julius completed his mission in Rome. It could have been Centurion Julius’ report about Paul’s conduct on the voyage that influenced his relatively mild treatment when the Roman Praetorian Guard became responsible for him. (Philippians 1:13) [More on the Praetorians in a future dispatch of the Centurion Chronicles.]

 

Julius was Paul’s custodian on his long voyage and one has to believe that the apostle share the gospel with him during that time. The centurion saved Paul from death at the hands of the soldiers in the hour of threatened shipwreck. Did he do this out of professional duty or did he have some special interest or regard for the most unusual prisoner he’d ever met. Luke, the author of the Book of Acts, depicts Centurion Julius as a man of honor, decision, and compassion. He is shown to be a capable and professional Roman officer.

 

 

Apostle Paul’s Arrest


“I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia,
a citizen of no mean city…”

Centurions are prominent in the Book of Acts in the apostle Paul’s arrest (Acts 21:32), attempted whipping (22:24-29), custody (23:16-24), and transfer to the governor of Judea. (23:23-24)

Paul was seized and beaten by a crowd who had mistaken him for a another man (so they claimed). Tribune Claudius Lysias, the cohort commander, arrived with centurions and their troops and whisked Paul away by force, but not before he allowed Paul to speak final words to the angry mob. When Paul gave his testimony and concluded with his charge by God to go to the Gentiles, the crowd spun out of control. (21:31-22:23)

Back in the soldiers’ barracks, Lysias ordered Paul tortured to determine the circumstances of the riot which the soldiers believed to be Paul’s fault. A curious thing happened just as Paul was about to be scourged: “And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, ‘Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?’” Paul addressed the centurion in charge of the whipping in what almost seems from the text like a casual comment. Why did Paul wait until the last second to raise the subject of his Roman citizenship? He could have said something as soon as the tribune arrested him. After a brief discussion about the source of their respective Roman citizenships, the information is taken to Lysias who was afraid that his men had almost violated the cardinal right of a Roman citizen to a trial. (22:24-29) [A future episode of The Centurion Chronicles will explain Roman citizenship and how it played an important part in the Apostle Paul’s ministry.]

While Paul was in the soldier’s barracks for protective custody he learned from his nephew of a secret plot on his life by Jewish zealots. Another interaction with a centurion (possibly the same officer who halted his whipping a few days earlier) seems unusual. “Then Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, ‘Take this young man to the commander, for he has something to tell him.’” (23:17) Here is the Apostle Paul ordering a centurion to do his bidding! He orders this high-ranking officer as if he is a common soldier, and the centurion dutifully does what “Paul the prisoner…” told him to do! (23:18)

Tribune Lysias was now responsible for protecting the citizen Paul from harm. He ordered two centurions and their troop to take Paul to the governor who would decide how to handle what could be an explosive political situation. The two centuries of soldiers deliver Paul to the fortress of Antipatris built by Herod the Great where Governor Felix will decide what to do with him. (24:23-24, 31-35)

Centurion Cornelius

Cornelius…a just and devout man

My fellow warriors, I have the pleasure of introducing you to the most well-known centurion in the New Testament. His name is Cornelius, of the Italian Cohort (Regiment), who came to faith in Jesus Christ in a most unusual way.

Our comrade was a God-fearing soldier—just and devout—who converted to Judaism along with others in his household. Even as a Gentile (non-Jew) he had a good reputation among Jews in Israel and was particularly known for his generous giving to the poor.

One day, he was praying and fasting in his house when an angel appeared to him with a strange message: send for a man in Joppa named Simon (Peter) staying at the home of a tanner in that city. Ask Peter to come to your house with a message from God. Having himself just seen a vision from God on the rooftop of the tanner’s house, Peter went to this Gentile’s house–something which he normally would not have done if it hadn’t been for the vision.

When Peter arrive at the officer’s home he found the household waiting eagerly to hear what he had to say. Cornelius even bowed in worship at Peter’s feet because it was obvious that Petr was there as a messenger from God. Peter rebuked Cornelius’ worship and, almost overwhelmed by the supernatural circumstances of the call and the eager reception by these Gentiles, Peter proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ beginning with His anointing by God’s Holy  Spirit as Israel’s Messiah. Peter finished his proclamation of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection with these words: “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” Cornelius and those in his house believed on Jesus and were out of darkness and into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.

Soon after, Peter met with other apostles and brethren in Jerusalem to explain how God saved Cornelius and other Gentiles in his house in exactly the same way that God saved thousands of Jews earlier at Pentecost.. (Acts 2) “…the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. “

“Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”
Acts 11:16-17

The Jewish believers’ reaction to salvation of Gentiles, accompanied by the miraculous signs they had witnessed at Pentecost, was joy at what God had done. “When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.’”

My friends, Centurion Cornelius is a model for us all. What a wonderful thing God did when He broke down the wall of animosity between Jews and Gentiles in Jesus Christ! Even Roman soldiers are welcomed into God’s family by faith!

There is neither Jew nor Greek (Gentile), there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

The Centurion at the Cross

“…this was a righteous man.”
“…this was the Son of God.”

“He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:3-5 NKJV

My fellow soldiers, the execution of Jesus may have seemed routine at the time to those accustomed to death by crucifixion. However, as the events of this day unfolded, it proved to be the most unusual crucifixion in all of history. Notice that a Roman centurion was in charge of his soldiers carrying out the order of Governor Pilate. Accounts in all four of the gospels give us insight into what this centurion saw, heard, and said. (Matthew 27:24-54; Mark 15:15-39; Luke 23:23-47; John 19:16-37) Here is a brief list:

  • He heard Pilate say that Jesus was innocent and that He was a “just man.”
  • He watched his soldiers abuse Jesus by stripping Him, dressing Him in a royal robe and mocking Him as the Jew’s “king.” They mercilessly beat Him with their fists and a rod, spat on Him, and pressed a painful crown of thorns into His head.
  • He supervised Jesus’ crucifixion to follow the governor’s orders exactly. The soldiers made sure that they firmly nailed Jesus hands and feet to the wooden cross so He would stay there until He died.
  • The centurion may have personally written the inscription over Jesus’ head in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Did he even know who Jesus was? Did he know what this inscription meant?
  • He waited with his men near the cross and would have heard words that Jesus spoke before He died. The sky turned strangely dark at midday for three hours. These words stood out:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”  This was astonishing! Never had the centurion heard a dying man ask forgiveness for his executioners. It must have caused him to wonder, ‘What kind of man is this?’

“Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” This was another unusual statement! Crucified criminals normally took all day to died a slow, painful death. Jesus was yielding His life willingly for the sins of the word.

“It is finished!” The moment Jesus said this, there was an earthquake and the coincidence struck the centurion like a thunderbolt!. Soldiers normally do not fear much, but to see Jesus die in the darkness of midday and feel the earth tremble at the moment of His death must have been terrifying.

The unusual events of the day finally came together for the centurion: the rigged trial and death sentence, the brutality of his soldiers, the written accusation that Jesus was King of the Jews, His words of forgiveness while He awaited death, the miraculous mid-day darkness, and the earthquake coinciding with His death. The officer concluded, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!” using a term normally reserved for the Roman Emperor, whom most Romans considered a deity. He then stated, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

It was customary for the soldiers to break the convicted’s legs to hasten death at the end of the day. Jesus was already dead late in the early afternoon , which the soldier found surprising. Instead of breaking His legs, a soldier punctured Jesus’ side with his lance. Blood and water came out, confirming His death. The centurion could report back to Pilate that the convicted criminals were dead. The soldiers would return to their barracks after a day that they would not soon forget. Some would return shortly thereafter to guard Jesus tomb.

Did the centurion who witnessed the events of this day confess Jesus of Nazareth to be the Son of God for his eternal salvation? I John 4:15

A Centurion and his Sick Servant


“I am not worthy….”

Fellow soldiers: This centurion in the Gospel of Luke is an example to us all. This is a Roman soldier with great faith! Here is a man in charge of troops who set aside his pride and humbled himself before the Lord Jesus, begging Him to heal his sick servant. 

1Now when He [Jesus] concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”  Luke 7:1-5

This was no ordinary centurion commander! He was a God-fearing proselyte to Judaism as evidenced by the elders of his synagogue going to Jesus on his behalf. Even though this man was a converted Gentile, his friends testified of his love for Israel and participation in building a synagogue in in the city of Capernaum, Jesus’ own base of ministry in Galilee. Jesus had taught in this very synagogue (Luke 4:31; Mark 1:21) and this is where the centurion likely first heard Jesus teach and when he recognized Him as the Messiah.

Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roofTherefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”  Luke 7:6-8

This was a soldier who confessed his sinfulness in the presence of the Son of God, the Savior of the world. He was unworthy to have Jesus enter his house and he readily admitted this in spite of his high rank as a commander of other soldiers. He believed that the Creator of Heaven and Earth stood before him and He could speak and heal the centurion’s servant. Jesus was amazed at this man’s faith!

When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” 10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.  Luke 7:9-10

My guidance to all soldiers is to heed this centurion’s example – confess your sins to God, trust in Jesus the Messiah to forgive your sins and save you from eternal condemnation. If you believe in this Savior of all mankind, trust that He died on the cross for you, rose again, and is in Heaven now, He will accept you like He did this centurion. One day, all Gentile believers – Romans, Greeks, Samaritans, all nations – will worship the King, the LORD of hosts, in His glorious Kingdom.

And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.  Zechariah 14:16