Cornelius was a gentile Centurion, of the Italian regiment, living Caesarea who feared and believed in the one true and living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Peter was a Jewish fisherman by trade, living in Jerusalem, who was now following Jesus of Nazareth the son of man and the only begotten Son of God. They were both in the mind of God as our Heavenly Father begins to orchestrate a divine appointment that would unite, essentially graft in, a non Jewish world into the newly formed church of Jesus Christ.
In a vision an angel of God tells Cornelius to seek out Simon Peter who was staying with a friend in the Mediterranean port village of Joppa. At the same time, seveal miles away, Peter is praying on a rooftop as God sends him a vision of a great sheet being lowered down from heaven by its four corners. In it were all the forbidden foods that God had told the nation of Israel not to eat. Peter is instructed that God has now cleansed these things and for him to partake in them.
“But peter said, ‘Not so Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean’ and a voice spoke to him a second time, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’”While Peter is thinking about the meaning of this vision the three men Cornelius sent to get him arrive at his lodgings. The Spirit says to Peter “Behold three men are seeking you. Arise, therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.”
When Peter arrives in the compound of Cornelius there is a very large crowd of family and friends who have gathered to hear the truth of God explained by this Jewish preacher. “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation who fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ- He is Lord of all.”
What God has cleansed let no man call common! God shows no partiality, no matter where you’re from Europe, South America, Africa, Pacific Islands or Asia; He loves every single person He has created. I know it must have been hard, almost impossible for the nation of Israel to understand that God had cleansed all men and that they were now being invited into His kingdom but that was exactly what He had done.
For the truth is we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and one of the biggest areas we come up short is religion. It’s interesting that even though God solved our sin problem, by sending His only Son into the world to pay a debt we could never pay, men over the centuries have insisted that there has to be more work involved. However, salvation is a gift from God.
Many religious systems and Christian denominations believe that their way of achieving salvation is the only way and that you must be a member of their organization to obtain it. Rubbish! God left Moses standing on the edge of the Promised Land, unable to enter, because of His unbelief that God Himself is the only way to receive salvation. Laws, rules and regulations will never deliver you into the hands of a Living God. It was Joshua who led the nation of Israel into the Promise Land and who was a fore shadow of Jesus Christ who is both the author and finisher of our salvation.
The day that Jesus Christ died was the day that all of mankind was completely forgiven; what God has cleansed let no man call common or unclean. This is the gospel and it really is that simple so don’t complicate things. Jesus Himself said that the truth would set us free from the law of sin and bondage. There is only one God, only one Savior who has broken down the walls of separation.
So logically there can only be one church, one living organism that is being created and built by God, where Jesus Christ is the everlasting King! God loves His world and His desire is that all men come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.
So if you find yourself sitting in a building on Saturday, Sunday or any day or night of the week where a man or woman is insisting that there is more to your salvation then get up out of your seat and run for the exit! For there is a new everlasting kingdom approaching whose King shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
For what God has cleansed, let no man call unclean!