Peter Visited Cornelius
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen the Great Commission in action as God worked through Jesus’ followers. In Matthew 28, Jesus told His disciples to “make disciples of all nations” and in Acts 1 that they would be His witnesses “in Jerusalem, in Judea and all Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Picking up this week in Acts 10, we find ourselves at a major turning point for the first century church as “the church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was strengthened” (Acts 9:31). Since Pentecost, God had worked in incredible ways through Peter and the other apostles to accomplish His mission, but now was the time for the beginning of the last phase of the God’s evangelistic plan. Acts 10 shows us how God made clear to Peter that it was time for the gospel to continue to the ends of the earth.
Like Philip from our last session, Peter was called to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit. We see Peter struggling with this calling at first but ultimately submitting to God that “What God has made clean, do not call impure” (Acts 10:15), solidifying that the gospel is for everyone—not only the Jews. The evangelistic door to the Gentiles was opened. Of course, this would not be an easy road, but by God’s grace and in the Spirit’s power, Jesus’ followers continued to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth.
As we get closer to the end of our 3-year study plan through Scripture, we will see a glimpse of heaven, of “a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb,” worshiping God (Rev. 7:9). The work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Peter and Cornelius launched God’s global work toward that glorious picture.
Just as Peter submitted to God and shared the gospel with Cornelius and those around him, God calls us to share the gospel openly and freely with everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from. We are all broken by sin and dead in our trespasses (Eph. 2:1-5). We all need Jesus, and our salvation is in Him alone (Acts 4:11-12). Remind your kids this week that Jesus Christ is Lord of all!
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Jeremy Carroll (@jermpc) is the team leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. Before coming to LifeWay, he has been active in local church ministry for nearly 20 years in TN, TX, and AL. Jeremy earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. A Middle Tennessee native, he and his family live in Murfreesboro, TN.