Pastor Miles was resting this week while Pastor Rick Page gave a stirring message.
First we did a spiritual exercise (you had to be there to understand it) but this little exercise showed us how as people we have a lot in common.
Pastor Page showed us that there are two kinds of people and that is all. Though we categorize people into so many different categorizes there are really only two.
First there is God. That is the first category.
And then there is everyone else.
That is all there is. Though we try to break down our own people into black, white, rich, poor, popular, non cool. There is only one category as far as our Lord is convinced that we fall into.
Jesus Dies For Everyone
But it wasn't always believed to be this way.
As we studied the book of Acts we learned that the Good News of Jesus dying for our sins was thought to be just for God's chosen people, the Jews.
But as we are so glad to know Jesus died for all of our salvation regardless of how we view people. Jesus died for everyone; everyone you see in church, driving on the freeway, walking on the streets anywhere in the world.
Cornelius, the Centurion
In Acts 10 we start out learning about Conelius, a centurion of the Italian Regiment in the Roman Army.
Now a centurion in the Roman Army is like a general in today's military; high ranking, well respected and well paid. But there was a lot more to Conelius than just his career.
In Acts 10:2, we learn that he is also a devout man who leads his family to please God and prays to God... not the Roman gods, or any one of the Greek Gods, but the one true God.
However for all that he is; devout, respected, a military commander he is missing something and doesn't know what it is. Pastor Page pointed out that Conelius is missing 10%, a mere 10% to be a total man.
Now in Acts 10:3 an angel comes down calls Conelius by name and gives him very specific instructions to summon a man named "Simon whose surname is Peter." And Conelius obeys and tells his servants who know their master as a good man and they go.
Now skip to Peter who goes to pray and he is given a vision and not just any vision.
Peter is shown heaven opening up and a sheet comes down and on it are all kinds of animals and a voice says, Rise, Peter; kill and eat. Acts 10:13
Peter says no, which as Pastor Page puts it is common for Peter. But here is why; all these animals that were presented to Peter were not to be eaten under Jewish law; they were considered unclean. Peter reminded God of that but our Lord said, What God has cleansed you must not call common. Acts 10:15
While Peter pondered about what he saw Conelius' men arrived, and he went with them to meet their master.
Then in Acts 10:28 Peter says, You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
Salvation For All Believers
Peter got it. We are all saved by Jesus's sacrifice.
We need to get over our own prejudices and categorizing to see people as God sees us; not them, us. As his children.