Summary: Like Peter, we don’t always want to accept God’s choice for those we are to witness to. Let’s learn to witness to those who we feel aren’t good enough.
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Pastor James May
EAT WHAT’S IN YOUR SHEET!
Acts 10:9-16, "On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, not so, Lord, for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, what God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven."
If there is one sin that hinders the work of God in the church and in the life of a Christian, it’s the sin of prejudice. I’m not just speaking of racial prejudice, as bad as that is. I’m also talking about a “spiritual prejudice.”
Have you ever met someone who was prejudiced spiritually? These are the folks that are convinced that they are the only ones going to Heaven because they are the only ones righteous and holy enough to get there. I spoke to you previously concerning the sin of pride in our own self-righteousness. Prejudice knows no age limits, no religious boundaries and permeates every fiber of the Body of Christ and all of society and prejudice is damaging to anyone who embraces it.
Have you met those who would not associate with members of another “religion” because they have been taught to avoid contact with those who were considered as heretics from the truth of the Gospel according to our beliefs? I thank God that He has no prejudices and that He does not pre-judge a man simply for the color of his skin or the name over the door of the church where he attends.
God looks at all men equally and desires that all of us come to know him as our Savior!
There is not one of us who has not been raised and taught some things that we found out later were based on prejudice. Prejudices because of the color of a man’s skin or his ethnic background are commonplace and man has been unable to erase that prejudice even with his best efforts.
In this same story of Cornelius and Peter in the 10th chapter of Acts we read the words of Peter when he says, "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:"
Peter, the great disciple of our Lord, had reached a crossroad in his ministry for the Lord. All of his life he had been taught the ways of the God of Israel and had been instructed in keeping the Law of Moses. Now he was going to face a great decision. Would Peter stick with the ways of tradition and the ceremonial Law of Moses or would he cast aside the Law of Moses and embrace a higher law, the Law of Love in Jesus Christ?
This would not be an easy decision for Peter. To cast aside all that he had been taught and kill and eat unclean animals was unthinkable! According the Law of Moses these things were cursed and would lead to God’s judgments, even death.
When that sheet came down and the voice of God spoke to Peter to rise, kill and eat, God was tying to get Peter to realize that we cannot place the move of the Holy Ghost into our neat little box and our way of thinking. God is a big God and he has sovereign power to do whatever he wants, in any way that he wants.