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Summary: Just because it walks like a duck and quakes like a duck doesn't mean that it is always a duck. So it is with those who claim to be followers of Jesus.

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"It Ain't Always So!"

Acts 10

He walked into the room to receive the coveted award for community involvement. He had worked in neighborhoods across the city and God had blessed his efforts. He compassionately reached out to the marginalized and those that had been written off by the vast majority of the community. He quoted Scriptures like they were part of him. He preached...man did he preach -- and many came from all walks of life to hear him share God's Word. Street people, congressmen, wealthy business people, black, white, and brown -- they came to hear him preach the Word of God. Jim Jones walked like a preacher, talked like a preacher, and looked like a preacher and so everyone assumed that this charismatic and driven man was a man of God, but sometimes it ain't always so.

He went to medical school and fulfilled all of the rigorous requirements that a person must undertake to receive their degree and begin their practice. He studied, probed, and practiced in order that he might become a healer. He took the Hippocratic Oath and promised to preserve life. They handed him his diploma, put a stethoscope around his neck, a lab coat on his back, called him doctor, and everyone assumed that Jack Krevorkian was a man of medicine, a curator of cures for the ill, but sometimes it ain't always so.

There is an old saying that goes something like this: "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, then you can feel safe in assuming that it is a duck." I came by this morning to tell you that it ain't always so.

In our study for this morning we are going to look at a man's life. A man that, when we gathered the evidence and examine all of the elements of his life, appears to be a committed follower of Jesus, a Christian. I have learned not to trust my judgement, I need the input of others. I want to share with you this man's vitals and then have you help me to determine if this man is a genuine follower of Jesus or not.

It is not my desire to merely dissect the life of Cornelius so that we can reach a verdict on whether or not he was truly a Christian. Hopefully, in taking the time to examine Cornelius' life we can then make the jump to taking a look at each of our own lives. Better yet, we can allow the Spirit of Almighty God to probe the depths of our hearts to determine if we have ever truly committed our lives to Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Let's take a look at our Scripture for this morning found in Acts 10:1-8.

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. {2} He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. {3} One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, "Cornelius!" {4} Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked. The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. {5} Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. {6} He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea." {7} When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. {8} He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa. (Acts 10:1-8 NIV)


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