Sermons

Summary: Peter came to a point where he was able to overcome his prejudice. This sermon examines how he came to that point, and shares how we can get there, too.

* "The most segregated house in America is 11:00 on Sunday."

* The reality/existence of prejudice in Christianity and the church...

* Prejudice in the church takes many forms...

* Not a new issue for the church to face: it has existed for almost as long as the church itself

* The problem that existed then still exist today: Prejudice prevents a church from fulfilling its mission and reveals the pride that we harbor and that God hates

* Acts 1:8 = "Jerusalem," "Judea and Samaria," "the end of the earth."

- The church began in Jerusalem and was all Jewish (6:7)

- The church then expanded into Judea and Samaria (8:1)

- It has yet to begin to reach the ends of the earth (Gentiles)

* The prejudice between Jews and Gentiles...

* Acts 10: A Jew (Peter) will help the Gospel get to the end of the earth by overcoming his prejudices and sharing the Gospel with a Gentile (Cornelius)

* How did Peter get to a point where he was able to overcome his prejudice? What does his example teach us?

1. Peter viewed people as God views people.

* Verse 26, 28, 34

* How does God view people?

A. God views all people as equally valuable to him

- There was no distinction between Peter's worth and Cornelius' worth

B. God views himself as the judge of man (Ps. 50:6; Luke 6:37)

- Like Peter (v. 28), we have no biblical authority to judge a person based on their externals.

C. God views all people as in need of a Savior (v. 34)

- Rom. 3:12

2. Peter understood God as the God of all nations.

* A prejudiced church fails to see God as the God of all the nations.

* Note verse 35

* Micah 4:1-2

* God is not an American god!

* We must view those of all nations - even those who hate us and our God - as people for whom Christ died and people who need the Gospel as badly as we did

* We cannot overcome our national pride and prejudice until we understand God as the God of all nations

3. Peter desired to answer Jesus' prayer for unity

* The prayer Jesus prayed = John 17:20-21

* Note verse 47 = "We are one in Christ."

* Gal. 3:28

* No second-rate citizens in God's kingdom; no second class of people in God's church

* Prejudice keeps such unity from happening and fails to give the world the answer to sin that is found in Jesus Christ

4. Peter wanted to fulfill the Great Commission

* Peter's emphasis on "anyone" (v. 35) and "everyone" (v. 43)

* Peter understood that the Great Commission involves all people, even those different from him...those that he, as a Jew, was prejudiced against (cf. vs. 14-16)

* The same Great Commission is given to us: to carry the Gospel to all people in our community and to do whatever we can do to get the Gospel to the ends of the earth

* The choice we face: Which do I desire to do the most...hold on to my prejudices or fulfill the Great Commission

5. Peter was prepared for eternal worship

* Explain concept of what we do on earth as preparation for what we'll do in heaven

* Our worship of God on earth should reflect what our worship will be in eternity

* If we're going to worship in eternity with people different from us, why are some opposed to doing that on earth?

* Rev. 7:9-10

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