The Tragedy of Getting Stuck in Joppa

Acts 10:9-17 NLT

9     The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon,

10   and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.

11   He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners.

12   In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds.

13   Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.”

14   “No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.”

15   But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.”

16   The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven.

17   Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house. Standing outside the gate,

Acts 11:17 NLT – And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?”

Acts 10:17-28 NLT

17   Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house. Standing outside the gate,

18   they asked if a man named Simon Peter was staying there.

19   Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you.

20   Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.”

21   So Peter went down and said, “I’m the man you are looking for. Why have you come?”

22   They said, “We were sent by Cornelius, a Roman officer. He is a devout and God-fearing man, well respected by all the Jews. A holy angel instructed him to summon you to his house so that he can hear your message.”

23   So Peter invited the men to stay for the night. The next day he went with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Joppa.

24   They arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends.

25   As Peter entered his home, Cornelius fell at his feet and worshiped him.

26   But Peter pulled him up and said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!”

27   So they talked together and went inside, where many others were assembled.

28   Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean.

Acts 10:44-48 NLT44 Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. 45 The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter asked, 47 “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” 48 So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.

How do people become settlers?

I. Moral inertia or moral laziness

II. The pressure of custom

Acts 11:1-3 NLT1 Soon the news reached the apostles and other believers in Judea that the Gentiles had received the word of God. 2 But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers criticized him. 3 “You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!” they said.

Use the tools of the culture to reach the culture.

III. Neophobia – an instinctive fear of the new

A law of life, you only grow in it only as you go in it.

They were growing because they were going.

Luke 17:14 NLT – He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.

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