Monday, November 02 2015
There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. Acts 10:1,2
Divine appointment, although not mentioned as such in the scripture is the time set by God for a specific event in our lives. Throughout history God has ordered the steps of man to bring about the fulfillment of His plans and the enactment of His perfect will on earth as it is in Heaven!
Within this story God is wanting to reach a certain family of Gentiles with the gospel of Jesus Christ, but the chosen messenger can't go to them because they are unclean to him, so He devises a Divine Appointment in order to have the apostle Peter go to the home of Cornelius, a Roman centurion to hear the message of life. There are many things that restrain man from accomplishing the work of God, such as religious tradition and the doctrines of men, separating us from God's ultimate will for our lives.
How many people today are desiring to know the Savior, touched by His Spirit and under conviction as Cornelius, but have no one to tell them the truth of the gospel? There is no excuse here in America, the Bible belt of the world and yet very few so-called Christians ever share their faith, or even know what the gospel is or how to lead someone to Christ!
About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius!" And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, Lord?" So he said to him, "Your prayers and alms have come up for a memorial before God. Acts 10:3,4
SEND FOR THE MESSENGER
"Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. "He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do." Acts 10:5,6
After the angel departed from Cornelius he sent two of his servants and a Roman soldier to bring Peter back to share the gospel of their salvation with them. Doesn't that seem strange for a lost man to ask for someone to preach the gospel to him when the man they are seeking has been commanded to go into all the world by the Lord Himself and make disciples?
Although the plan included the salvation of Cornelius and his household, the main reason for such a divine appointment was to free Peter and the Jewish church from racism so that they would accept the Gentiles that were to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. Gentiles were unclean to Jews, even saved Jews but they had been entrusted with the gospel to deliver to all the world. Peter was on the rooftop of Simon the tanner waiting on lunch to be served when all of a sudden he fell into a trance and saw Heaven opened and an object like a great sheet descended, filled with all sorts of unclean animals and a voice said to him, "Rise, Peter, kill and eat!"
Peter being a good Jew said in response, "Lord I have never eaten anything common or unclean," and the voice said to him, "What God has cleansed you must not call unclean." This was done three times and the object was taken up into Heaven. While Peter was perplexed over the vision and what it meant, the three men sent by Cornelius stood before the gate and called for Peter and after being questioned about who they were and who sent them, they were invited to come in.
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." Acts 10:19,20
"You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean." Acts 10:28
This mission was impossible by human means but with God all things are possible. The three men talked with Peter explaining their mission and who had sent them and he consented to go with them to the home of an unclean Gentile and Roman centurion!
Upon his arrival to the home of Cornelius, Peter questioned him about why he had summoned him and the purpose of his visit, and he told him of the vision of the angel that he had received and what he told him to do by inviting Peter to come and to share all the things commanded him by God. Peter then proceeded to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all who were in attendance and the fact that he was a witness of all things done by Him and testified of His death, burial and resurrection.
This is an amazing event, ordained of God and divinely orchestrated by the Most High in order to deliver the glorious gospel of salvation to the Gentile nations of the world! As Peter delivered the message of eternal life the Holy Spirit was poured out on them all and they spoke in tongues and magnified God and he commanded that they be baptized! We as believers need to take this message to heart and open our eyes to those around us who are lost and in need of the Savior's forgiveness and pray for God to provide us a divine appointment!
"And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained of God to be judge of the living and the dead. "To Him all the prophets witness that through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission and forgiveness of sins." While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. Acts 10:42-44
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin