Summary: Sermon based on Acts 10
“PETER & CORNELIUS” Acts 10
FBCF – 8/12/20 Refresh
INTRO – God used dreams & visions many times in the Bible to communicate with people.
- Abraham – Gen. 15:1
- Jacob’s ladder – Gen. 28
- Joseph – one most dreamers & dream interpreters
- Samuel – had dream as a young boy of impending judgment coming upon Eli & his sons
- Daniel – God placed him in position of influence to use his dream interpretations to speak to government officials. Also had many dreams himself about prophetic events
NT – God used dreams & visions to help identify Jesus & establish the Church:
- Zacharias – Luke 1 – foretold of birth of John the Baptist to him & Elizabeth
- Joseph – Had 3 dreams. One told him to marry Mary – one to escape to Egypt – one to tell him that Herod was dead & he could safely return to Nazareth.
- Pilate’s wife – Matt. 27:19 – Really a nightmare that Jesus was innocent & that Pilate needed to free Him.
- Ananias – Acts 9 – God told him to go find Saul & witness to him.
- Paul had several visions related to his missionary journeys
- John had the vision that gave us the book of the Revelation
Now that the Bible is complete, God does not seem to communicate as frequently through dreams & visions as He used to. But that’s not to say that He doesn’t & that He won’t.
- Many times we hear stories of people coming to faith in Christ as a result of a dream or vision they had.
- Many Muslims have seen Jesus in a dream saying, “Come, follow me.” “I am the Alpha & the Omega & the only way to heaven.” “I am the Door.”
- There was family on a boat with other migrants traveling from Turkey to Athens. On the way they lost their 7-year-old daughter into the water. Everyone in the crowded boat was looking for her but couldn’t find her. Suddenly, she appeared on the other side of the boat, saying over and over, “A man who walked on the water took me and brought me to the other side of the boat.” The parents dismissed her words as silly.
- Upon arriving on the island of Lesbos, they met a Christian who made a fire and offered to talk to them. That day, without knowing what happened, he asked if they would like to know about a God who walked on water. They started crying.
- The man had never used that illustration in evangelism, but that morning he felt like he had to. They asked him, “Who are you?” to which he replied, “I’m a Christian.” They said, “What do you mean ‘walk on the water’?” He opened the Bible and read the story of Jesus walking on the water. They continued crying. “Our daughter fell off the boat,” they explained. “We thought she was crazy because she was dry on the other side. We didn’t understand it. But she kept saying, ‘It was a man who walked on the water that took me to the other side.’”
In Acts 10, we see 2 visions from God given to 2 different men. And then we see what God did after He gave them those visions.
THE VISION CORNELIUS HAD – v. 1-8
Read a story of a “society” church in a prosperous Midwestern city was given a very sizable gift from an estate. Decided to use it rebuild their bldg. Members asked by board of trustees to choose between a large, plain building, or small, elegant one. Chose small, elegant one. Reason: “We appeal only to the more prosperous elements in our community,” said one of the elders, “so we will probably have a small congregation.”
- With that kind of mindset, I can guarantee you that they’ll have a small congregation.
God wants ALL people to be saved – those who are prosperous, & those who are poor – those who have plenty of $ in the bank, & those who are using EBT cards – those whose families are influential & are the movers & shakers in the community, & those whose families are horribly dysfunctional & unknown in the community. The Church is for ALL people & must reach ALL people w/ the Gospel.
- There are no lines, no distinctions, no barriers, no exclusions.
- Philip took that first step when he preached to the Samaritans in Acts 8:4-8
The vision that Cornelius had began an earth-shaking time of transition for the Church. We are beginning to see the further fulfillment of the Great Commission – “make disciples of ALL nations” - & Acts 1:8 – “…the ends of the earth.”