Summary: Let’s take a look at this good man Cornelius and how he got saved. He was: 1- A God-fearing man 2- A vision-seeing man 3- A Christ-receiving man
INTRO.- How good is good? Whom you do consider to be a good man? Billy Graham? Any others? Good men are hard to find. Here’s a story about a good man.
ILL.- Trish was working at the Olds, Alberta Canada hospital. It was a cold winter day, a very cold winter day! When Trish went to leave work that day her car needed its own hospital. The car was dead. Well at least the battery was! Now Trish was in trouble because home was at least a twenty minute drive away to the town of Didsbury and she could not afford a tow truck. She really thought about hitch hiking!
As Trish stood outside a man with a fresh bandage on his hand walked out of the emergency room door of the hospital. He realized she was in trouble and offered to assist. Well the car could not be encouraged to turn over, even with booster cables. The stranger then offered to drive Trish home.
“Oh, no you can’t,” she said, “you don’t understand. I don’t live here. I live in Didsbury.”
The stranger insisted on making the drive to the next town. Trish knew he had just been in the ER and was likely feeling some pain from his injury. She didn’t wish to inconvenience anyone, especially someone who had just been injured. Again the stranger insisted.
Trish accepted the ride home. When they arrived there she had a few dollars (definitely not enough for a tow truck) and she offered them to the man as a small token of her gratitude. She wanted to at least help pay for the gas. The man refused. He wanted nothing but to see her home safely.
Brothers and sisters, what do you think of a man like that? Well, no doubt, you probably think, "That guy is something else! Don’t see many people that good these days." AND YOU DON’T. Not many people who would do what he did.
Now, what do you think God thinks of a man like that? There is no question that God saw the good that he did and also saw the heart from where it came. God doesn’t just look on the outside, like we humans do. We are often caught up in the outward appearance and tend to forget the heart of a person.
ILL.- Take the young singer, Britney Spears, for example. She’s a nice looking young woman but she’s a mess spiritually speaking. Almost every day she’s into something else and that something else isn’t good! She was born in Mississippi and raised in Louisiana in a Southern Baptist home but she’s sure gotten away from it. She looks good on the outside but she isn’t good on the inside, or so it appears.
Again, appearances can be deceiving. Good looking doesn’t necessarily mean good hearted. What about the man in our text? What about Cornelius? In the first place, his name wouldn’t inspire most of us. Did you ever know of a Cornelius? What kind of man was he?
The only Cornelius I ever knew was a student at Bible College. He was slender, not much to look at and quiet. BUT HE WAS QUITE INTELLIGENT. He just didn’t have a magnetic personality or that certain charisma, but he was a good man. Likewise, the Cornelius in our text was a good man. But not a Christian man.
PROP.- Let’s take a look at this good man and how he got saved. He was: 1- A God-fearing man 2- A vision-seeing man 3- A Christ-receiving man
I. A GOD-FEARING MAN
1At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.
Cornelius was not a Jew, meaning he was not of the Jewish faith, which could mean he had little teaching about God, if at all.
ILL.- I wasn’t raised in the most Christian home. At least, not compared to what I would consider a strong Christian home. However, my mother made sure that we three children went to Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and church. I didn’t care much for church because mother made me sit near the front with her. In fact, I remember sitting in the second pew at the front and couldn’t wait to get out and go home. Oh brother! And now I thank you, Lord, that I have that background!
Without SS, VBS and church I might never have heard about Jesus and His death on the cross, which is the most important fact of history! The most important person of history!
Being a non-Jew meant Cornelius may never have had any kind of education about God. Also, Cornelius was in the military and being in the military hasn’t always been the best place in the world to learn about God.