Summary: The fact of EASTER declares to each of us that Jesus is: Lord of all, ordained by God to be the judge of all the living and the dead, the fulfillment of all the prophecies and the one through whom forgiveness and pardon may be received by everyone, ---
Even You – Acts 10:34 - 43
Intro: A guy goes into a bar and orders three beers. He takes them to a table and proceeds to drink from each on in turn then returns to order three more. Day after day, the man returned to the bar and did the same thing. The bartender asked him one day why he didn’t order one beer at a time. The man replied, “I have 2 brothers back home. We used to drink a beer together every day. When I moved away, we decided together that we would each drink 3 beers to remember the days we drank together.” The bartender says that was a nice custom. One day the man comes into the bar and says he orders only 2 beers. All the regulars in the bar fall silent. When the man returned to order 2 more, the bartender expressed his sympathy. The man looked puzzled and then laughed. “My brothers are fine. My wife and I joined the Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking; but it hasn’t affected my brothers none.”
I. Have you ever believed something was one way only to discover that it was some other way?
A. Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself, “I don’t like that person. They’re not the type person I would want as a friend.” Then something happens that causes you to see that person in an entirely different light. Leaving old beliefs behind for better ones is hard to do.
B. Prior to this portion of Acts, Peter had restricted his preaching about Jesus to Jews, people like him. As a Jew, he was not permitted from associating with Gentiles, from entering a Gentile building or even touching Gentile possessions.
C. Beginning in verse 34a, we see Peter has changed. “I truly understand . . . “ Peter learned from God that he had some pre-determined beliefs that were limiting his ability to reach out to people who were “different” from him.
II. Conversion comes when we learn that an idea, an opinion, or a belief is, in fact, different than we had previously believed. Perhaps you are like Peter, in need of a conversion experience.
A. “but in every nation anyone who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to Him. Perhaps you have felt being a follower of Christ would “cramp your style” or change you into someone you might not like.
B. In the home of the Gentile Centurion (Roman army officer) named Cornelius, Peter shares what he knows to be true about Jesus. Certainly the last place in the world Peter would have chosen on his own, doing what previously had been unthinkable for him.
C. Where is God calling you to go? What is God asking you to do? It is probably the one place and the one thing you dread the most.
III. I read once that “Easter is the Truth that turns a church from a museum into a ministry.” (Rev. Dr. Warren Wendell Wiersbe) I would add, “It is the risen Christ that changes us from existing humans into living children of God.”
A. You will find that no matter how good you are, you’ll never be good enough to earn God’s favor. Even the nicest person in the world still has faults and shortcomings.
B. Jesus is more than just an example of a good person. He has taken YOUR faults, YOUR shortcomings, YOUR sins and washed them away by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. Because of what Jesus did, you can stop trying to earn your way to heaven.
C. I cannot impress upon you enough that whether you are a true believer, an atheist, an agnostic, someone who has tried to please God your entire life of someone who doesn’t really care what God thinks --- none of these things change the fact that Christ Jesus has died for you and risen to the new life possible for you.
Conclu: The fact of EASTER declares to each of us that Jesus is: Lord of all, ordained by God to be the judge of all the living and the dead, the fulfillment of all the prophecies and the one through whom forgiveness and pardon may be received by everyone, --- Even you!