The first four preaches of Peter in Acts was directed to Jews. Yet, the preaching in Acts 10 was addressed to gentiles. God showed Peter a vision and told him that “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” This revelation of truth is crucial to the spreading of God’s gospel from Jews to gentiles. If Peter, the first apostle, didn’t follow God’s lead, and if he couldn’t cross the barrier of this traditional belief, then there would be a crisis in the conveyance of the gospel. Cornelius was an Italian centurion; he is a gentile. Yet, God heard his prayers and remembered his gifts to the poor, and God was pleased by his righteousness, so God sent a holy angel to tell Cornelius to send people to invite Peter at Jappa. God’s work is multi-dimensional; while God asked Cornelius to get Peter, He showed Peter the vision and told him not to doubt. After Peter got to Cornelius’s house and heard his testimony, he commented that “God does not show favoritism.” Therefore, Peter told them about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the truth of man being forgiven by believing in the name of Jesus. At the moment, the Holy Spirit descend upon the audiences. The Jews saw that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were bestowed upon gentiles, and they were astonished. Peter then said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So they were baptized in the name of Jesus. The eunuch Ethiopian in Acts 8 went all the way and endure all the hardship to worship in Jerusalem, he read Scriptures diligently as well. Nevertheless, he wasn’t saved until he heard about Jesus from Philip and believed that Jesus is the Son of God. Cornelius in this chapter was a man with piety; he and his family all revered God, helped the poor, and prayed often to God. Yet, piety, giving gifts to the poor, reading Bible, and attending services cannot save him. Some people try to save themselves by paving roads, building bridges, reading Scriptures, and worshiping false Gods; some of them even attend church services and read Bible. However, if they don’t know Jesus Christ, they will never be saved, because those deeds cannot save people. Only through knowing and believing that Jesus is the Son of God and He has resurrected, and be baptized in the name of Jesus, can men receive salvation. Christians always said, “The end of man is the beginning of God.” I consider this statement rather passive. As the matter of fact, we don’t have to come to God to love and serve Him only when things go out of control. We can continue to love and glorify God when we are at our primes. We definitely can revere and serve God while we are healthy and successful. We don’t have to wait until our divorce, bankruptcy, or going into intensive care unit to realize that we need to come to God. We are living to serve God and to spread Jesus’s name. We need to be proactive in spreading the gospel. The last thing we should do is to do nothing under the excuse of waiting for God. We pray while we act, then miracles will always be with us.
Message by Elder Yeh / Summary and response by Jim Lin