“And I saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:12 Wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.14 ¶ But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common” Acts 10:11-15
The Lord says I should tell you, as a matter of fact warn you to stop saying you cannot eat what God “has cleansed”
That many of you have the spirit of religion not the spirit of Christ .
The spirit of religion is ritualistic, routine, traditional and customary. The spirit of Christ is liberty, salvation and obedience to the will of God. The spirit of religion is the spirit of adamancy, resistance and rigidity. The spirit of Christ is progressive willing to do God’s bidding, willing and pliable. The man in Jesus wanted to do his own will. He saw the cross as too dangerous, the death too devastating, the weight of sin of humanity to heavy and unbearable but it is the purpose for which he was born, it is the way to save humanity and so he declared at the garden of Gethsemane “Not my will but your will O Lord” and he went to the cross and died the most shameful, dreaded, agonizing and painful death. He was flexible to obey what God put to his heart to do. Religion is the spirit of hatred, anger and bitterness towards your neighbour. Christianity is the spirit of love and understanding. “For God so loved the word that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
God in person came to this world in the person of Jesus Christ. Peter walked with him. Peter a Jew was trained and thoroughly discipled by him especially in the area of love for humanity and other races. Fast forward Jesus was crucified, died, buried resurrected and ascended to heaven. Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost, 3000 people were saved under his ministration in one day, yet he was still entangled in religion and I dare say racism. God has planned to save the entire human race and Jesus cannot stay forever on earth hence he empowered the likes of Peter. When the time came for Peter to go forward and utilize what he learnt in the University of Jesus, God showed a sheet full of animals of all kinds in a trance and ordered him “to kill and eat.” In his arrogant mind full of religion and tradition he replied. ”I cannot!”
Before you condemn Peter, what the Holy Holy Spirit is asking you this morning is what is God telling you to do but tainted by religion, you’re saying “I cannot” despite your claim to be born again, blood bought, church attending, Holy Spirit filled, tongue speaking!
Before you this morning are people of all races, there are over 200 countries in the world many of them have many tribes, tongues and diverse religion and God has put them before you – “kill and eat”- meaning – reach out to them in love and bring them to my fold. Are you obeying God?
The good news is that Peter eventually obeyed God! He followed the servants of Cornelius to his house where the Gentiles were preached to and they accepted Christ and as they say, the rest is history. Many of you reading this article if not all are biblical gentiles. That singular event changed the trajectory of the life of our forefathers and incorporated those who will believe in Christ into the commonwealth of the saints. Hallelujah!
The challenge this morning is go kill and eat. Never say what God has cleansed is unclean. Yes, you grew up and your religion taught you to hate others, you have your preferences, presumptions, presuppositions, ideas of how to practice your faith how to contend for the faith but God is nudging your heart in another direction that will help others you have despised, ignored, abandoned so that his ultimate purpose, for which you were born, and for which those you are to minister to were born will be achieved. Thus says the Lord to you today “ Rise up, kill and eat, never say what the Lord has cleansed is unclean “
Fast forward it was through the same Peter that God later said: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
God’s agenda is that no one should perish. That must be your agenda!
O taste and see that the Lord is good.(Psalm 34:8). I have tasted and found that the Lord is good. I do testify that the Lord is good. Join me to taste him.