He was a Gentile, not a born Jew or a Christian… He was an influential officer in the Roman military. But God took note of Him – God loved him – God revealed Himself to Him and advocated on his behalf. His name? Cornelius. And he became the “door of entry” – the “breakthrough person” – for Gentiles to have equal standing with God’s chosen people in history (and eternity)!
Here’s what God’s chosen messenger told Cornelius personally: “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering!” (Hey it pays to pray and demonstrate compassion and generosity to those need!)
Here’s what God told Peter – a prejudiced Jew: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean!” … “Three men have come looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, I have sent them!”
Here’s what Peter had to say in Gentile Cornelius’ home: “You know it is against our [Jewish] law for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer thing of anyone as impure or unclean.”
And the rest of the story… While Peter was explaining the gospel – the wonderful story of Jesus – to them, “The Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to the message… and they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God…
Then Peter asked, ‘Can anyone object their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?’ So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” (From Acts 10)
Hey, God is “no respecter of persons!” – He plays no favorites! He has people out there who are not yet Christians – good people (and some who are not so good), kind people (and some who are not so kind), but sincere people , searching people – He wants to reveal Himself to them and fill them with His Spirit! He wants to use them to break down barriers of prejudice and open doorways to new frontiers of the Gospel. Perhaps God wants to use you (and me) to reach out past our prejudices and share the Gospel with them. What do you think? You just might be surprised at what God will do!