“In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God. One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said. Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, sir?” he asked the angel. And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering! Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter.” Acts 10:1-5 NLT
Today’s text introduces us to a very prestigious and religious man, Cornelius. This Roman Centurion was more religious than most. Everyone knew him as a very devout, “God-fearing” man. He prayed regularly to God. He gave generously to the poor. His moral character was so strong that his entire family and even the servants who lived in his house also followed him in his religious belief and lifestyle. Yet, his life was not complete before God. God did take notice of him however and cared enough to lead him to higher ground. God sent an angel to him to instruct him to seek out Peter so that he might hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved.
What is the Gospel that Cornelius needed to hear? Read ahead in our text in Acts 10:36-43 to hear if from Peter. But basically, it comes down to this: All men are sinners and need a Savior. The consequences of our sin separates us from God and brings spiritual and eventually physical death. Christ died on a cruel cross to take the punishment for us so that all who would trust in Him as Savior and Lord might be forgiven of their sins and have eternal life.
God’s plan of salvation is so simple yet so crucial and essential. No matter how religious you might be you are not complete before God until you trust in Christ as Savior. Only then will you be forgiven of your sins and heaven bound.
“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Romans 10:9-11, NKJV.
If you were to die today do you have the confidence that your sins are forgiven and you will spend eternity with God? If not, call upon Jesus today. Trust Him as your Lord and Savior. If you know you are saved, go tell somebody about Jesus!