Jesus is for everyone; he really is, but not everyone accepts this
Saint Francis of Assisi must also have believed that Jesus is for everyone, for he even preached the good news to the birds and other animals.
As we saw in last weekís message, there were myriads of people and animals from all over the world from every culture and land, which is proof to us that Jesus is for everyone.
As we look at Acts 11:1-18, letís see some other examples of how Jesus is for everyone, and how this fact is accepted by the other believers.
1. Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.
This was after Peter had seen the vision of the sheet and went to the home
of a roman commander, Cornelius, to tell the whole household about Jesus,
and they all believed and were saved.
This is the kind of thing that should bring joy to our hearts and souls, but letís look at the way that some of the people felt.
2. And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took
issue with him,
3. saying, "You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them."
Isnít this another reminder about what we read in Revelation last week: that
God has been saving people from all over the world?
Well, the people who took issue with Jesus were jealous that Gentiles were also being saved, and that kind of hardness of heart is worldly and not in the heavenly will of God.
We also see this same kind of hardness of heart with many people not accepting the fact that animals are also in heaven.
These things happen because many religious leaders are also among the hard of heart people who feel that they are better or somehow above other people and the animals.
This is an example of the sin of the boastful pride of life.
Thankfully, Peter is not among these hard of heart people, which is an example of how we all should be.
Letís listen to what Peter saysÖ
4. But Peter began speaking and proceeded to explain to them in orderly
5. "I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, a certain object coming down like a great sheet lowered by four corners from the sky; and it came right down to me,
We need to note carefully that what Peter was seeing was a vision from God to help Peter understand what the Lord wanted him to do; this was not really happening in the physical world.
6. and when I had fixed my gaze upon it and was observing it I saw the
four-footed animals of the earth and the wild beasts and the crawling
creatures and the birds of the air.
7. "And I also heard a voice saying to me, 'Arise, Peter; kill and eat.'
Is Peter going to follow these instructions?
Is this the message that the Lord wants him to follow, or is it a way of opening Peterís mind up to do something else?
8. "But I said, 'By no means, Lord, for nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered my mouth.'
Peter understood that Godís creation intent and heavenly will never changes;
therefore, he knew that anything that is outside of the heavenly will of God
is worldly and should not be followed.
Actually, we believe that killing and eating any animal is really unholy and unclean, for it is counter to Godís creation intent and heavenly will.
9. "But a voice from heaven answered a second time, 'What God has cleansed,
no longer consider unholy.'
10. "And this happened three times, and everything was drawn back up into the sky.
Does this message from heaven have anything to do with killing and eating animals, or is it about something else?
11. "And behold, at that moment three men appeared before the house in which we were staying, having been sent to me from Caesarea.
This is one of the ways that the Lord ties together what He wants us to do, and how we are to see and understand that God is for everyone.
12. "And the Spirit told me to go with them without misgivings. And these six brethren also went with me, and we entered the man's house.
Jews were not to enter the homes of Gentiles, for it was considered unclean
and unholy, and to this very day some orthodox Jews believe the same way.
However, Peter understood that when the voice from heaven said, 'What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy,' He was referring to the home of Gentiles and not to animals.
And as further confirmation, listen to what Peter was told.
13. "And he reported to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house,
and saying, 'Send to Joppa, and have Simon, who is also called Peter,
14. and he shall speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household.'
15. "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He did upon us at the beginning.
This is further proof that Jesus is for everyone.
16. "And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John
baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
17. "If God therefore gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?"
18. And when they heard this, they quieted down, and glorified God, saying, "Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life."
There are a lot more people in the world around us who need to understand
that Jesus is for everyone, and stop fighting and arguing over doctrinal
issues in all religions, and truly seek the heavenly will of God.
This is not the first time a Jew had visited a Gentile to talk about Jesus; He did it himself.
Note what we are told in John 4:7-9Ö
7. There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me
8. For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
9. The Samaritan woman therefore said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
Doesnít this sound familiar?
Isnít this very similar to what the Lord had Peter do?
So what happened to this Samaritan woman after her encounter with Jesus?
Note what we are told in John 4:39-42Ö
39. And from that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the
word of the woman who testified, "He told me all the things that I have
40. So when the Samaritans came to Him, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.
41. And many more believed because of His word;
42. and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."
Isnít this also similar to what happened with Peterís encounter with the
These Biblical encounters are to help us better understand the reality of the fact that Jesus is for everyone.
Everyone in the world needs to wake up to these facts and stop fighting with God and our fellow beings, both human and animal.
We need to be living examples of Godís heavenly will, and the fact that Jesus is for everyone.
Letís resolve in our hearts and souls to help free creation from its present corruption, for the glory of God.
Jesus is for everyone.
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