The Gospel Is For Everyone
“And a voice spoke to him again the second time, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’” (Acts 10:15)
The early church grew exponentially, even after the martyrdom of Stephen. But, the growth was contained primarily to Judea and Samaria. By Acts chapter 10, it was time for the Gospel to move beyond just the Jews. Remember, when Jesus ascended to heaven He said, “You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The early church did an outstanding job with Judea and Samaria, but now it was time to go to the end of the earth.
Taking the Gospel to all the nations meant that the Gospel would have to go beyond the Jews. Acts 10 is the story of God initiating the advancement of the Gospel to the nations (Gentiles). There we find the story of a devout solider named Cornelius. The Bible says he “feared God with all his household” and “gave alms generously to the people and prayed to God always.” As holy as Cornelius was, he still had a problem – He had not received God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
God enlisted Peter to lead Cornelius to Christ, but before he sent him away God gave him an object lesson – a sheet descending from heaven and filled with unclean animals. When God commanded Him to “kill and eat” (Acts 10:13), Peter objected because he didn’t eat things that were forbidden by God. God used the vision to help Peter understand that just as Jesus fulfilled the Law, those people that were previously seen as unclean were now being invited to receive God’s grace. The good news is that the Gospel is for everyone – even sinners like you and me.