Praise God for His Amazing Grace! "The Church"If you haven't…
Do you remember the story about Peter’s vision and Cornelius the Centurion, from the book of Acts chapter 10?
Because Peter had followed the Jewish religion, before becoming a disciple of Yeshua, Peter was prejudiced against non-Jewish ethnic and religious groups.
Peter’s vision: Not about food
Most people think that Peter’s vision in Acts chapter 10 was about food. However, Acts 10:28 very clearly relates that Peter’s vision was not about food, but rather people. By way of a vision, God was directing Peter to not call any man (non-Jews) common or unclean.
In John 6:44 Yeshua says that “no man comes to the Father, but by me, except the Father who has sent me draws him.” This is what Peter’s vision was about. God was telling Peter that your real, eternal lineage begins with God Himself when He calls you; and that it is up to Him to call whom He will.
When a person accepts that call, it is then that the eternal life referenced in John 3:16 begins. That is when you are “born again” and your real lineage begins. I’m not saying that your biological lineage doesn’t matter. However, as it returns to dust, your eternal life will live on eternally,
We find this related and exemplified throughout the scriptures. Cornelius in Acts Chapter 10 is one of those examples. This is why you see Peter’s vision related in conjunction with Cornelius.
In Acts Chapter 10 we read some very interesting things about Cornelius. Acts 10:1 says “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band”.
This Italian band was a military unit similar to the Green Berets today. They were a team of special forces. The Centurion was an officer in the Special Forces. It’s interesting to note that not only was he an officer in the special forces, which tells us that he was a man’s man, but he was also an unashamed devout man of God – the very same God that you serve.
Cornelius didn’t serve a Roman God, He served the one and only true God. Not only did he himself serve God, but as the leader of his home, he led all of his house to serve the Most High God also.
Not only was Cornelius NOT some sort of “closet Christian”, but he was very forthright about his faith, even to the point of giving “many alms to the people”. He openly expressed his faith. Even in Rome, “he prayed to God always”.
Cornelius – Not a closet Christian
We seem to have this idea that, as a Roman soldier, the centurion was some sort of a “closet Christian” who was committed to Caesar but when Peter knocked on his door he had an awakening. However, that clearly was not the case.
Cornelius was clearly already serving the Most High God. So where do you think the unction to do that came from?
Dispersed Israel – God’s chosen
Back in 2 Kings 19:31 we read “For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant and they that escape out of mount Zion: The zeal of Yahweh of hosts shall do this”.
“The zeal of Yahweh is going to send His people out from Zion.” In context, this tells us that God dispersed Israel because of their disobedience.
Because First and Second Kings is located toward the front of our Bibles we have a way of thinking that it was practically written during the days of Moses; but it wasn’t. Actually, the book of Kings is contemporary to the Prophets.
Second Kings is contemporary with the book of Hosea. Hosea 7:8 tells us that Ephraim, (the majority of Israel) had mixed himself among the other nations of the earth and embraced their ways.
Second Kings, Hosea, and many, many other scriptures, all through the Bible, reveal to us that, by the time of Cornelius and Peter, God’s people Israel, was dispersed throughout the entire known world.
So again, John 6:44 clearly relates that those who come to God are called by Him: It is very, very clearly stated.
Similarly, in Romans 9:18 Apostle Paul indicates that God has mercy on whom he will have mercy; and then Romans 8:30 says “Who he predestined He also called… and glorifies”.
He glorifies. He glorifies. That is what God was doing when He called the Centurion and when He had Peter visit him. It was all part of the Centurion’s “glorification” process.
We don’t know exactly when God called the Centurion to Himself. We just know that by the time Peter contacted him, He had already accepted God’s call and he was already very, very devout. He feared God. Not only that but he had led his entire household to worship God, and “he prayed to God always”.
All who God calls are special regardless of lineage
So, through Peter’s vision in Acts chapter 10, God was telling Peter, “Look, I dispersed Israel throughout the land. They are not necessarily Jewish and they are intermingled throughout the peoples of the earth (see 2 Kings and Hosea above). So I want you to reach out to them because now is the time for them to embrace the Messiah”.
God was saying “Call God’s people together. Tell them that I am their Father and that they don’t have to worry about their past if they accept what I have to offer. They can be cleansed from their past through Yeshua. Peter, don’t call any man common or unclean because you don’t know who I have chosen as a part of Israel. You don’t know who I have called or who I am going to call.
So today I want to encourage you. While God welcomes ALL to his fold, He chooses whom he will choose. Either way, what a privilege and a precious joy it is to be in the house of Yahweh God, where He has chosen and embraced you no matter how lost, no matter how “common” you appear to be, or others might think you are.
It doesn’t matter if you even know who your biological mother or father are, or if you can trace your lineage back several generations: It really doesn’t matter.
What REALLY matters
What matters is that you have been embraced and called by the Most High God and that “in Christ” you are born again into a wonderful eternity. That’s what matters. And that’s really all that matters.
In Acts 10:4, regarding Cornelius, we read “your prayers and your alms have come up as a memorial before God”. Isn’t that something? “Your prayers have come up as a memorial before God”.
This is what matters. Regardless of your lineage (or lack of one), no matter your past, no matter your future: What matters is your prayers being heard by the Most High God. He is your Father.
It matters that Yeshua is your Messiah: That you embrace the covenant, the blood covenant with Him that He established for you, according to the Scriptures, before you were even born. He has a destiny for you. A place for you to be in the kingdom of God. You are precious in His sight.
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