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Summary: THIS SERMON DEALS WITH THE REACTION OF THE EARLY CHURCH LEADERS TO PETER AFTER THE HOUSEHOLD OF CORNELIUS.

HFL

SEPTEMBER 27, 2009

ACTS 11 (quickview) ;1-4

1The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

4Peter began and explained everything to them precisely as it had happened:

INTRO; THE EARLY CHURCH HAD ISSUES TO DEAL WITH. GROWTH ALWAYS MEANS GROWING PAINS. WHEN YOU HAVE A BABY, AND YOU BRING THIS BABY INTO THE MARRIAGE AND HOME, AS BLESSED EVENT AS IT IS, IT BRINGS WITH IT CHALLENGES. INSTEAD OF JUST BEING YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE, YOU NOW HAVE THIS PERSON WHO DEMANDS ATTENTION, AT ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT. AND THIS PERSON IS NOT POLITE ABOUT GETTING ATTENTION, THEY SCREAM FOR IT, AND THEY DON’T SHUT UP UNTIL THEY GET IT.

THANK GOODNESS THEY BEGIN TO GROW, AND LIFE SETTLES DOWN UNTIL YOU HAVE THE NEXT ONE. THEN YOU MAY HAVE A WHOLE NEW SET OF ISSUES TO DEAL WITH. YOUR FIRST BABY IS NO LONGER THE BABY, AND ALL THE ATTENTION THAT THEY USED TO GET, IS NOW BEING GIVEN TO NUMBER TWO. SO NOW AS YOU HAVE THAT THOUGHT IN YOUR BRAIN, LETS LOOK AT THIS 11TH CHAPTER OF ACTS.

WE NEED TO REHEARSE FOR A MINUTE. GOD HAS SPOKEN TO CORNY, AND PETER. HE HAS BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER, FOR A SPECIFIC REASON. TO BRING THE GENTILES INTO THE CHURCH. GOD HAS MADE IT CLEAR TO PETER, THAT HE IS NOT TO BE A RESPECTER OF PERSONS. “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.”

PETER HAS DONE WHAT GOD TOLD HIM TO DO. BUT, THIS HAS NOT BEEN AN EASY THING FOR HIM. WHAT GOD TOLD HIM TO DO WENT AGAINST EVERYTHING THAT HE HAD EVER BEEN TAUGHT. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH EASIER TO JUST CONTINUE WHAT HE WAS DOING. PREACH TO THE JEWS. THESE WERE HIS PEOPLE, HE KNEW THEM, HE LOVED THEM, HE COULD COMMUNICATE WITH THEM. BUT, JUST AS HE ONCE STEPPED OUT OF THE BOAT, HE IS ONCE AGAIN CALLED UPON TO STEP OUT. B/C OF HIS STEP OF OBEDIENT FAITH, GOD BLESSES HIM. THE HOUSEHOLD OF CORNELIUS COMES TO A SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS. PRAISE THE LORD.

THAT IS HOW CHAPTER TEN ENDS. NOW, IN CHAPTER 11, PETER HAS TO GO HOME. HAVE YOU EVER MADE A DECISION, IN YOUR HEART YOU KNEW IT WAS RIGHT, BUT YOU DIDN’T REALLY DISCUSS IT WITH ANYONE. YOU GO HOME, ALL EXCITED, YOU WANT EVERYONE ELSE TO FEEL THE SAME EXCITEMENT YOU FEEL. AND AS SOON AS YOU OPEN THE DOOR, IT BECOMES QUITE APPARENT, THAT THEY DON’T SHARE YOUR ENTHUSIASM.

WORD SPREAD. RAPIDLY. I FIND IT INTERESTING, THAT I WILL DO SOMETHING, AND BEFORE I EVER GET HOME, EVERYONE KNOWS. THEY DIDN’T HAVE CELL PHONES, OR THE INTERNET, OR EVEN TELEGRAPH, BUT THE WORD SPREAD.

WHEN I WAS A KID, WE USED TO PLAY A GAME CALLED GOSSIP. IT WENT LIKE THIS, I WOULD WHISPER INTO THE EAR OF THE PERSON SETTING BESIDE ME. HE WOULD THEN WHISPER IT TO THE NEXT PERSON, AND SO ON, UNTIL IT WENT ALL AROUND THE ROOM. IT WAS ALWAYS INTERESTING TO HEAR HOW DISTORTED THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE CAME BACK. YOU HAVE TO WONDER HOW DISTORTED THE REPORT WAS OF PETER AND HIS WORK WITH CORNELIUS.


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