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Acts Chapter 10:7-23

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
May 27, 2021 1:00 am

Acts Chapter 10:7-23

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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May 27, 2021 1:00 am

Cross the Bridge 41123-2

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We see in Acts chapter 2 God using Peter to reach out to the Jewish people. We see in Acts chapter 8 God using Peter to reach out to the people of Samaria. Now we see in Acts chapter 10 God using Peter to reach out ultimately to the whole world because that is what we're supposed to do.

Not just Peter. That's what we're supposed to do. Verse by verse, day by day, heart by heart. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. What does God call his people to do? Well, for one, the body of Christ should not be fighting against one another. If anything, we should work together to reach the world with the gospel. Today, Pastor David explains the importance of the church working together as he continues in the book of Acts chapter 10.

So now here's David McGee with part two of his teaching, A Way to Live. Turn with me to the book of Acts. Acts chapter 10 verse 7. It says, When the angel who spoke to him, Cornelius, had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually.

So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa. The next day as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray about the sixth hour. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat, but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven open, an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.

In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, Rise, Peter, kill and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten anything common or unclean. That verse needs a little explanation. They're in the Hebrew scriptures, what we refer to as the Old Testament.

We call them the Hebrew scriptures here for obvious reasons. It talks about the fact that the Jewish people were to eat certain foods and they were not to eat certain foods. Some of these things that it speaks of, some of them would be shellfish, oysters, shrimp, crab, lobster, those sorts of things. Everybody's like, Oh, I love those things. Well, they're kind of tasty, but here's the reality. They're bottom feeders.

They hang out at the bottom of the ocean and they eat whatever's at the bottom of the ocean. So, you know, they carry diseases and bacteria and they also spoil quickly. That's why, you know, occasionally you pick up the paper and somebody's died from eating oysters.

That's an indicator. It's perhaps not good for you that this bacteria would build up in that. I try to eat healthy and I'll tell you why. It's not just so, you know, I get to hang around earth longer.

I'd just soon go see Jesus today. But the reason I do that is because I've noticed that when I eat healthy, I have more stamina and I have a lot to do and the days are long and that sort of thing. I have more stamina to do what I do.

And so the Bible talks about the temple of the Lord. And so I try to eat. I try to eat well. Another one is pork that it discusses that we shouldn't eat pork. Now I occasionally eat pork.

I don't eat a lot of it. And again, not necessarily just Levitically, but you need, and don't just take my word for this. You can go out and you can explore these things and you can research these things, but there was a reason for these things. So can you eat whatever? Sure. But you should use some, some wisdom.

I'm not going to put you under some heavy yoke. I'm just, you know, we're dealing with food. It's talking about food.

We're talking about food. Let's look at verse 15 and the voice spoke to him again. The second time what God has cleansed.

You must not call common. Now, as I was studying and reading, and I read this verse several times, a smile kind of came over my face because those of us here this morning, you've asked Jesus to forgive us of our sins. We've been cleansed. We're no longer unclean. Now I know that sometimes I refer to us as sinners because, well, in fact, after we asked Jesus to forgive us ever since we still mess up, but God sees us as saints. Once you ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, God sees you as clean, as pure, as forgiven. And he sees some of the people that are seated around you right now as clean, as pure. So what God has called clean, be careful that you don't call it unclean or impure. Chapter 10, again, is this pivotal biblical point. And I don't think we can even appreciate the significance of that. Imagine, imagine if you were in Jerusalem overlooking the temple and you thought, man, I would like to go into that Holy of Holies to worship God, because I understand that's where the presence of the Lord is.

And you're sitting there and you're sharing with a friend and your friend goes, well, now, wait a minute. You can't just go in there. You gotta be Jewish.

Okay. So I wished I was Jewish so I could go in there to the Holy of Holies. No, no, no, no. Wait a minute. Well, he said if I was Jewish.

Yeah, but it's more than that. You gotta be Jewish and you gotta be of the tribe of Levi. Okay. So I wish I was Jewish and I wish I was of the tribe of Levi so that I could go in there.

Oh, wait a minute. Why you gotta be Jewish. You gotta be of the tribe of Levi and you gotta be the family of Aaron to go in there.

Okay. So I wish I was Jewish. I wish I was tribe of Levi. I wish I was a family of Aaron, so I could go in there. Oh, wait a minute. Not just any priests can go in there. What do you mean? It's only the high priest can go in there.

Okay. So I wish I was Jewish. I wish I was a tribal Levi. Wish I was a family of Aaron.

Wish I was high priest so I could go in there. Whoa. Whoa. Wait right right? You can only go in there once a year.

Yom Kippur, day of the tournament. Okay, so I wish I was Jewish, wish I was a tribal levah, wish I was a family of Aaron, wish I was a high priest, and I wish it was that one day a year where I could go in there. Well, you might die. Did any of us think of any of these things as we walked in the door of this place this morning? Probably not.

Probably not. But this is what's been provided to us, is what's been provided to us. We've been grafted in. And I don't think we really stop and ponder the significance of that often enough. We owe a debt to the Jewish people. And the Bible has a lot to say about this Jewishness of our faith.

And guys, we have to understand this. The Jewish people look at two-thirds of the same Bible that we do. They speak of the same God.

Now, how we get to that, let me be plain, how we get to that God is very different. They most, to the most part today, have rejected Jesus as the Messiah, the Yeshua, not all of them. We have some in this very fellowship that have received Yeshua as their Messiah, Jesus. Jesus is his Greek name. Yeshua was the name they called him in the Hebrew. We need to understand this because, you know, as I discovered these things, I felt like I had been ripped off. As the Bible really came alive to me and I discovered these things, I was like, why didn't anybody ever tell me?

Well, there's a lot of reasons for that and we'll talk about them a little bit this morning. But God foresaw a time when he would reach out to Gentiles. Let me explain. Gentiles, we now define that word as non-Jewish people. In the Bible, that word Gentile literally means idol worshiper.

That was our background. But understand, Abraham, before God called him, came from a family that made idols, so that's not that bizarre. But God knew. Isaiah 55, 5 says this, surely you shall call a nation you do not know, and nations who do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God and the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. So God, in this passage, a lot of other passages, looked for it and saw that he was going to open up to the Gentiles, to the idol worshippers, the opportunity for us to have a relationship with him. But understand the way that it comes about. In the book of Romans, Paul says this, I say then, has God cast away his people?

Certainly not. For I also am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away his people whom he foreknew. The reason I read that real slow is you will find Christians that will tell you God is completely finished with the Jewish people. That is not what the Bible says.

I mean, it's hard to misunderstand that, isn't it? The Bible says he's not finished. He's not cast them away. And I've had discussions with people, and they border on bizarre, because they say, well, okay, they were God's people, but then they acted poorly, and now they're not God's people anymore. That's the relationship you want with God?

That any time you act poorly, maybe you miss service? You're now not his child anymore? That's not the relationship I have with the Father. Romans 11, 18 says this, do not boast against the branches, but if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

Now, you can go back and read this whole chapter. One of the problems in the church that was at Rome is they were distancing themselves from their Jewish roots. Paul said don't do it. The same Paul that said you don't have to go through circumcision, you don't have to go through eating the right foods and all these other things, but don't walk away from your Jewish roots completely. Don't miss the point that Jesus was a Jew, the disciples were Jewish men, that most of this book, except a short passage from Nebuchadnezzar and the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, which was written by Luke. Those are the only Gentiles, non-Jewish people, that wrote any part of the Bible. And yet, historically, the biggest enemy of the Jewish people has been the church. It's bizarre, amid claims of they killed Jesus. What actually killed Jesus? Our sins killed Jesus. Were the Jewish leadership, were they involved?

Absolutely. Were the Romans? Yes, the Romans were. Gentiles, Hebrews, both involved.

We need to understand these things, because see, something happened historically that you probably need to be made aware of. In Rome, as under Constantine, the persecution lifted. Christianity did not become the state religion under Constantine.

I hear people say that. That's not historically corrected. It became the state religion under Theodosius, who was another Caesar. But one of the things they intentionally set out to do was distance Christianity from its Jewish roots. Up until that time, the feasts were still celebrated. After that time, the feast and Christianity separated. The seven feasts show so much about Jesus. And again, they tie Scripture to Scripture. And it's just an interesting study to see the picture of Jesus in all these feasts. But then what they did is they said, okay, we don't have the seven Jewish feasts anymore.

What are we going to do? Well, we'll introduce some of our own. And they introduced some, some that we consider Christian. Now, please, what I'm about to say requires balance, okay?

So I'll try to put it in a balanced way. Christmas is not necessarily, it doesn't necessarily has its roots in Christianity. It has its roots in Roman paganism. And they combined this Roman pagan holiday with some Christian elements. The feast of Saturnalia, they used to get drunk and they used to give gifts. Sound familiar?

That's the reality, okay? Now, we use it as an opportunity to celebrate the birth of Christ. That's awesome. I think at that time, we also need to remember that not only did he come and he was born, but he also died and was also resurrected.

Its roots are questionable. Now, I still celebrate Christmas. I'm always going to celebrate Christmas, but it's going to be about Jesus.

Not about the gifts, not about the parties. Then we have Easter, right? Well, certainly that's a Christian holiday. Not in its roots. And again, don't just take my word for it.

Dig, do a little research. It's pagan in its origin. Even the name Easter is from the Babylonian word ishtar, okay? And it was a, it was a fertility rite they went through.

In other words, at that time in Babylon, what they would do is they would have all this wife swapping and then nine months later, there'd be a bunch of kids running around. Have you ever wondered where the bunny came from and what that whole thing is about? You, you make the connection. If you don't get it, ask somebody else. I'm not bunnies make lots of bunnies.

Okay. So, and then the egg wondered about that. Oh, it's the newness of life.

Well, no, no, no. Remember the roots are a pagan fertility holiday. Does that mean we're not going to celebrate Easter here? No, we're going to celebrate. We're going to remember the resurrection of Jesus. That's why you'll hear the phrase. A lot of times here, resurrection Sunday, it's a better name than Easter. This is direct fruit of us pulling our roots and cutting our roots from Jerusalem and attaching them to Athens, the Greek mindset, the Greek philosophy, these pagan holidays. That's don't get mad at me. I didn't just try to ruin two of your best times a year.

Don't don't do that to me. I, I'm just giving you information that you should have and understand the danger of distancing ourselves from the Jewish roots of Christianity. Now I am not talking about adopting a system of legalism whereby we earn our way to God. That's not biblical.

I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about recognizing that Christianity has Jewish roots. You're listening to pastor David McGee on Cross the Bridge. He'll be right back with more in just a moment, but I want to remind you of the free resources available to you on crossthebridge.com. There's a team of hundreds of people that will pray for somebody to be saved. You have a loved one that needs to know Jesus as Savior. You need people to pray for him.

You need someone to present God's word to him. Every day we're presenting God's word to him here on Cross the Bridge with Pastor David McGee. We can pray for them as well just by simply going to crossthebridge.com and click on the pray for the lost button. All you need to do is put in the first names of the people you love that need to know Jesus as Savior, click on submit, and immediately hundreds of people will begin praying for your lost loved ones. What an awesome way to bring your loved ones to Jesus. Here's a word from associate pastor D.A.

Brown. We pray that your Holy Spirit would pour out and draw many people into a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. Father, that people would put their trust in you, receive your forgiveness, and get plugged into a local Bible teaching church. Give the pastors discernment and wisdom on how to bless and lead these people, Father. Lord, we pray that we'd walk in unity. Lord, we pray for the city leaders that you would bless them and give them wisdom, the mayor, the fire chiefs, the police chief, Father. Lord, that we would be admirable servants of you so that people might see our unity and want a relationship with you also. Lord, we love you.

We thank you for these people. And it's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Amen.

Thank you, brother. And now let's get back to David McGee as he continues teaching verse by verse. Verse 16 says this was done three times and the object was taken up into heaven again. Three times.

You know, when you read things like this, and maybe before you started coming here, you were a normal, well-adjusted Christian and, you know, now you read things like that and go, what does that mean? Three times. But it's interesting. God wanted him to get it and it took three times. Peter, watch this again.

We're going to do the whole sheet and the whole animal thing again so that you begin to understand. That encourages me. The fact that God will, and he's willing, to sit and show you something three times, seven times, four hundred and ninety times. I'm grateful for that, that God is that patient. Statistics suggest that the average American before he receives Jesus as his Savior hears the gospel seven times.

Seven times. Aren't you glad God's patient? And I know for many of us, it wasn't the first time we heard it that we received it. God loves us. One of the other reasons, I think God said it three times, is God was breaking down the walls of tradition that were well established in the life of Peter. God loves to break down walls of tradition. I don't have any problem with tradition, in a sense. I can enjoy a traditional service. I can enjoy a pipe organ. Victory in Jesus, somewhat a traditional hymn.

I love that song. The problem I have is when tradition gets in the way of people having a relationship with the Lord. I think far too often the church is overdosed on tradition at the sake of not presenting the gospel and loving people. And we need to be careful with that. A lot of traditions that we create divide people from the Lord.

So we need to be careful with that. Verse 17. Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house and stood before the gate. Just a refresher.

Peter is in Joppa. It's a city outside of Tel Aviv. Cornelius is in Caesarea.

Now, a little confusing. There are two Caesareas in scripture. Caesarea Philippi, which is in the hills, and then Caesarea Maritima. Where it doesn't say Caesarea Philippi, it insinuates it's Caesarea Maritima or Caesarea by the sea.

So this is Caesarea Maritima. And there's another historic, Caesarea, a lot of stuff. Paul taught there. Peter was there.

Paul goes before leadership there. Herod was there. It's a real place. These places that are in the Bible aren't just made up. They're real places.

You can walk around them. You can see them. And there's something about understanding that they really exist that's very powerful. Verse 18. And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. And while Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, behold, three men are seeking you. Arise, therefore. Go down and go with them, doubting nothing, for I have sent them. Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius and said, yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?

This is an awesome thing. Do you see the confirming work of God? He's speaking to Cornelius.

He's speaking to Peter at the same time. You understand that's how the Lord, the Holy Spirit operates. You gotta be real careful sometimes because people will come up to you and they'll say, Hey, you know what?

I think you need to go do this. And you've never felt that. You've never heard that. And that can become really dangerous. Now you may think, well, that's weird. And that never happens. It happens all the time.

People label it prophecy. They go pray for somebody and go, brother, you're supposed to do this. You're supposed to have X number of kids. You're supposed to live in this house and do all kinds of bizarre stuff.

Here's the problem. If you're bringing it to that person for the first time, that's probably whacked short version and prayerfully considered, especially if you know the person, they seem like a mature person, but more often it's a confirming or, and I love the old story that a guy comes to an old preacher and he goes, pastor last night, somebody prayed for me and they said, I'm supposed to go to Africa to be a missionary. Pastor said, well, did you feel like you were supposed to go to Africa before he prayed for you? He goes, no, he goes, what should I do? The old pastor said, well, if you go to Africa, you ought to take him with you because you didn't know when it was time to go.

You're not going to know when it's time to come home. So you better take him with you. So you'll know verse 22. And they said, Cornelius, the Centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nations of the Jews was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear words from you. Then he invited them in and lodged them. And on the next day, Peter went away with them and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him. If you don't read it slowly, you'll miss something.

Peter invited them to stay. Now that may not have significance. And you know why? Because you're not aware of some of the Jewishness of the Bible. Jewish people were not supposed to hang out with Gentiles. Now understand there was a reason for that. We'll, we'll discuss that next week, but they weren't supposed to hang out with them both Levitically and rabbinically. Now they took it way too far.

Understand this is the deal. If you were a Jewish person, you're walking down the street, you see somebody that's not Jewish coming towards you. You would go across the street to the very edge to avoid them. As a matter of fact, you didn't even want to eat any food that traveled on a wagon that went through Gentile dirt. It was then considered unclean. And if you were walking down the street and you touched that person who was a Gentile, you immediately went home, burned your clothes and took a bath.

And until you did those things, you were unclean. Peter invited them to stay. Why did Peter do that? Peter loved the Lord. We see in Acts chapter two, God using Peter to reach out to the Jewish people. We see in Acts chapter eight, God using Peter to reach out to the people of Samaria. Now we see in Acts chapter 10, God using Peter to reach out ultimately to the whole world, because that is what we're supposed to do. Not just Peter.

That's what we're supposed to do. It's not about works. You can't be good enough to come to God. Nobody can be that good. Peter wasn't good enough to come to God, to come to Jesus based on his own merit, his own works. Paul was not good enough to come to God based on his own works, his own merits. And if Peter and Paul couldn't do it, you and I, friend, don't stand a chance, except Jesus died that we could be forgiven. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.

And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.

Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. So congratulations, friend.

You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you prayed that prayer with David for the first time, we'd love to hear from you. Visit CrossTheBridge.com and click on God's Plan for New Life to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ. God wants to bless you and encourage your relationships today. Whether you are married, considering marriage, or engaged to be married, we have a resource for you. Pastor David wants to send you his four-part video series, Allies Stay Friends. Allow God to minister to your marriage through His Word today. This was an unforgettable weekend that encouraged many marriages, and you and your spouse can be encouraged too. Allies Stay Friends is our thanks for your generous gift today to help more people hear God's truth on this station and beyond so they can cross the bridge from death to life. Please visit CrossTheBridge.com today to give a gift of any amount and get your copy of Allies Stay Friends. Well, DA, before we go, what are some ways that we can bless our listeners? See you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-12 19:09:18 / 2023-11-12 19:20:52 / 12

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