We are in the Christmas season. This is the time we remember the birth of Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. He came to this world in form of flesh and blood, humbling Himself as a little baby, born to a young teenage virgin, fathered by a carpenter. One would imagine a king born in royalty family, however we have a King born in an ordinary home, living an ordinary life but with a great destiny. He was not bound to remain a child forever, His mission on this earth had to be accomplished as a grown up Man dying on the cross for sins of the world. I know there are people who are still imagining Jesus as a little baby in a manger, and some are hoping He comes back the same way.
In my text, we are told of Cornelius, a centurion, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household. He gave alms generously to people and prayed to God always. What would you conclude about a man with such a life style?, you would say he has everything he needs pertaining this life, however there was something missing crucial, the only thing needs to make I will address shortly. If you go to church, you give to charity, you pray every day, you love your family, supporting and providing for them, it is easy to conclude that you are set for life. That was the case with Cornelius until God gave him a vision. Every day we come across people mentioned in 2Timothy 3:5, “having a form of godliness but denying its power”. There is nothing wrong with being godly, however there has to be something to support godliness. Jesus said in John 3:3, “Verily, verily I say unto you, unless a man be born again, He cannot see the kingdom of God“. The word “BORN AGAIN” is the key that unlocks the kingdom of God. Cornelius had everything apart from the actual key that opens the gates of heaven, and God in His mercy did not want to leave him ignorant of this until the day of judgment only to be disqualified for not having the key. Would you say confidently you have the key? or would you say you think you have the key or have a key that might look like the right key? You have to have the right, the being Born again key.
Peter is sent for to come and share with Cornelius about salvation, meanwhile Peter in vs. 9 onwards is hungry and desired to eat. He goes up to rest and pray while the meals were being prepared. He falls asleep and gets a vision of his own. His vision, a sheet being lowered from heaven with all kinds of what they called unclean animals. God tells him to rise, kill and eat and he objects for they are unclean. in vs. 15, “And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common (unclean)”. This was no vision about food but about being respecter of people. Jesus died not for some race, color, ethnic group or some class, He died for all and desires all to be saved. If you are not saved, you are part of His big plan, and just as Peter was sent to bring the message to Cornelius, I have also been sent to bring the message of life. God’s desire is that no man should perish but that all may have everlasting life. It is not about what we can do by own strength that counts, it is about what was already done to be received. If what Cornelius did could not buy him the key to the gates of heaven, what can you do to have one? money cannot buy it, fame won’t do it, giving generously is good but that is not the key etc. Listen to part of the message Peter gives Cornelius and his household, vs. 43, “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive the remission of sins”. Peter preached to him repentance and faith.
How would you desire the key when you think all that you do is enough? the message is simple, you have to be born again. It’s either black or white, no shades of gray in the middle; it’s either dark or light nothing in between; it’s either right or wrong the choice is yours but you have to be born again to have the key. Ask me how to and I will tell you. Think about your life. Let me leave you with something to think about in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you are disqualified”. Make sure you have the right key, Blessings Evans
- It’s All Been Paid For, Evans Olang (magnifyhisword.wordpress.com)