|(I don't think I ever received any mail quite like this|
while away at camp...)
Nowadays we get mail mostly via our computers or our smart phones, and once in a while we might actually receive a real piece of mail in our mailbox. Happy the day when it is a real letter or card as opposed to the overwhelming amount of "junk mail" we receive that just ends up in the trash.
Back in Bible times, mail...better known as messages, were usually sent by a courier of some kind...a servant most likely would be sent out to seek the desired recipient of the message, and then that messenger would be sent back to convey the response to the one who sent the original message. This could take days or weeks, depending upon location and how easy it was to find the person. No phones, no telegraph, no GPS...just human beings seeking one another by whatever means possible.
And so we come to our Scripture text for today's sermon. Acts 10:23-43. A Gentile in Caesarea, a Centurion named Cornelius, who was a devout man who feared and prayed to God, had a vision (see Acts 10:1-22 for the background) from an angel of God...who told Cornelius to send for Simon Peter. And so he did as he was told.
In the meantime, Peter had also had a vision from God, telling him (see verse 15) "What God has cleansed you must not call common." (referring to Gentiles...)
Therefore, when Peter was asked to go to Caesarea to meet Cornelius, he went without fear, knowing that God must certainly have a plan.
The Prophet Isaiah had a message from God for the The Messiah way before He, Christ came to earth...see Isaiah 49:6
- Because He knew His death was our only hope...nothing else could satisfy the cost for our redemption.
- Trusting in what Jesus did for us is enough to take away our sins...and to know God and enjoy Him forever...
- If Christ did not rise from the dead our sins are not fully forgiven...
- If He was an impostor everything we are trusting in would be a fake.
- But He was seen by many witnesses after His resurrection...He was seen by Peter, who is sharing all of this with Cornelius...
- Jesus died for our sins
- He was raised from the dead
- God wants YOU to know where you stand in relation to Jesus Christ...
- God appointed Jesus to be Judge of the living and the dead (Verse 42)
- God wants you to know, from all the prophets who witness that, Verse 43:
- Are you putting your messages from God in the junk mail pile?
- Or are you willing to serve Him...to be changed by His Word...
- Humble yourselves and see what God is calling you to do...
- Search your spirit...
- Is there anything blocking you from receiving God's message of love and forgiveness?
- Open your heart...receive His message for your life.
- You've Got Mail!