Summary: Let God do what he wants to do in your life and in your church.
Why Should I Oppose God?
After the day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter began to be used mightily by the Lord as he traveled about, leading and doing God’s work. The church was experiencing unprecedented growth, and Peter was at the forefront of it all. God used him to do great miracles, like healing the lame man at the Gate Called Beautiful who was over 40 years old and had been lame all his life, like bringing immediate death to Ananias and Saphiras for lieing to the Holy Ghost concerning their giving, like causing the sick and demon possessed to be delivered by standing in Peter’s shadow, like filling the Samaritans, people considered unclean and filthy, with the Holy Ghost, like healing the man named Aeneas in the city of Lydda, who had been bedridden for eight years, like raising the lady Dorcas from the dead, and so much more.
In Acts 10, God began to use Peter to turn the direction of the gospel message into a whole new dimension. One day, while staying in the city of Joppa at the house of Simon the Tanner, Peter went on the roof to pray about the noon hour. While up there, the Lord began to show him a vision. He saw heaven opened, and a large sheet being let down to the earth by its 4 corners. It contained all kinds of four footed animals, reptiles, and birds. Then he heard a voice saying, “Peter, get up, kill and eat these”. Peter immediately responded, “No! Nothing unclean has ever entered my mouth”, but the voice responded “Do not call anything unclean that God has made clean”. This happened 3 times, then the sheet was taken back to Heaven.
While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the Spirit told him that 3 men were looking for him that had come from Cornelius the Centurion, and he was to go with them for the Lord had sent them. When Peter came back down stairs, he found them there, and agreed to go with them.
The next day, Peter, the 3 men, and some of the brothers from Joppa headed out to Cornelius’ house. They arrived the following day, only to find this Roman Centurion falling down at his feet the minute he walked in the door. Peter told him to get up, because he was just a man that had been sent from the Lord to preach to them. Cornelius was a God-fearing man, whom the Lord spoke to through an angel saying, “Your prayers and your alms giving have come up as a memorial to me. Send men after Simon Peter and have him come share my words with you”. Sure he was a man of authority, as he was the leader of 100 men in the Italian Regiment, but he was somebody that was righteous, and God fearing, one that was respected by all the Jewish people. He had a great desire to know the fullness of God, something very contrary to anyone of his caliber!
Peter explained that the Lord had shown him not call any man unclean/impure, and that he was to come to his house. He asked Cornelius why he sent for him and he replied, “4 days ago I was in my house praying when I saw a man in shinning clothes stand before me, saying ‘God has heard your prayers and remembered your gifts to the poor. Send for Simon Peter who is in Joppa at Simon the Tanner’s house. So I sent for you immediately, and now we are here ready to hear what God has to say to us all”. When Peter heard this, he said, “Now I realize that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through JC, who is lord of all. You know how that throughout Judea God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the HG and with power, and how he went about doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses of all the things he did, and of the fact the people killed him on the cross, but God raised him up on the 3rd day and caused him to be seen by a select few of us. He commanded us to preach the gospel, letting everyone know that all who receive him will be forgiven of their sins”. While Peter was still preaching to them, the HG fell on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who witnessed it were astonished that the gift of the HG was poured out on the Gentiles, for they head them speak in tongues and praising God. After that they baptized them in water, and after a few days of staying with them, Peter left for Jerusalem again.