TEXT: Acts 10:42-48
42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
Warren Wiersbe said, “Peter was just getting started in his message when his congregation believed and the Holy Spirit interrupted the meeting. God the Father interrupted Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration, and God the Son interrupted him in the matter of the temple tax. Now, God the Spirit interrupted him—and Peter never was able to finish his sermon! Would that preachers today had interruptions of this kind! The Holy Spirit was giving witness to the six Jews who were present that these Gentiles were truly born again. After all, these men had not seen the vision with Peter and come to understand that the Gentiles were now on an equal footing with the Jews. This does not suggest that every new believer gives evidence of salvation by speaking in tongues, though every true believer will certainly use his or her tongue to glorify God. This was an event parallel to Pentecost: the same Spirit who had come on the Jewish believers had now come on the Gentiles. No wonder the men were astonished!”
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 218 messages in this series.
This is message #219 titled, God Honors Consistent Prayer and Faithful Living, Part 7
In our last message, we saw how Peter was obedient to the vision and the command that God had given him. Even though he did not understand what God was asking him to do, he went along with a group of Gentile men who had been sent to his house. Only when Peter got to Cornelius’ house did he understand why God had told him to go there.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary states, “Peter quickly discerned at least three theological implications of what had happened: He could not argue with God. Cornelius and his household, though uncircumcised, were baptized because they had believed in Christ, as evidenced by their receiving the Holy Spirit. The order of these events was believing in Christ, receiving the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and being baptized in water. The reality of Cornelius’ conversion was confirmed by Peter’s staying with him several days, probably to instruct him more fully in his newfound faith.”
On the other hand, Cornelius had been having a similar experience. He had been faithfully praying to God and obeying God as best he knew how. When an angel came to him and told him that his prayers and his alms had been received as a memorial before God, he, too, was hesitant. But, he obeyed the command to send for a man he had never heard of. And, now, we see that when Peter arrives at his house, he realizes the purpose for which God had asked him to send for Peter. He tells his Jewish visitor that after the angel spoke to him, “Immediately, I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.”
Last week, we saw this truth from Peter’s perspective; today we see it from Cornelius’ perspective. God was working through Peter and Cornelius to bring about the opening up of the Gospel to the Gentiles. If either of these men had disobeyed, that would not have happened. Ultimately, God’s purpose would have been fulfilled, but not without delay. Peter goes on to explain the Gospel to Cornelius and his household, and they trust in Jesus Christ as Savior. The Bible says, “the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.” Not only that, but they ‘spoke with tongues, and magnified God.’ Peter and the other Jews who were with him realized that by the grace of God, God had brought the Gentiles into the family of God through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Because of his obedience to God, Cornelius and his family received the greatest blessing possible. Even though he did not understand, he obeyed. Rick Warren said, “God doesn’t owe you an explanation or reason for everything he asks you to do. Understanding can wait, but obedience can’t. Instant obedience will teach you more about God than a lifetime of Bible discussions. In fact, you will never understand some commands until you obey them first. Obedience unlocks understanding.”
The truth we learn from this is that God is often trying to work on our behalf, but we are the ones who get in the way. We get in the way of God working with our doubt, our unbelief, our lack of faith, our disobedience, our pride, our thinking that we have a better way. When this happens, God has to take the time to teach us (or to chastise us). So, while we are left wondering why God has not answered our prayers or moved in a certain situation in our lives, we must honestly ask ourselves if we are doing anything that would hinder His work.
Daniel S. Warner wrote:
Every word Thy mouth hath spoken
Is essential to our life;
All Thy mandates love betoken,
To oppose them is but strife.
In Thy wisdom, Lord, confiding,
We will follow in Thy way;
With Thy love in us abiding,
‘Tis delightful to obey.
Each commandment Thou hast given
Is a waymark on the road;
Leading up from earth to heaven,
To the blessed throne of God.
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.