Monday, April 7, 2008

Acts: More Visions (10:1-8)

Continuing in the vein of working unconventionally, God uses an angel to hook a man named Cornelius up with Peter, so he can hear the Gospel. Actually, it is less unusual than may be perceived today. Angels have always been God’s messengers—in certain capacities. Take note of a few interesting things about this story:
God sends an angel to Cornelius, but only has him tell Cornelius about Peter. Why not go ahead and have the angel share the Good News? Angels are incapable of being witnesses of the Gospel. They have observed its affects and marvel at it, but they have not ever experienced the Gospel first hand. That is why God requires his people to carry the Gospel. Nature and the supernatural can testify to God’s existence, but people must proclaim God’s special revelation and work of redemption. That is also why the praises of God’s people are so special. All creation including angels can worship God, but only God’s redeemed have been well, redeemed.
Angels would likely be less effective than people anyway. Look at Cornelius’ reaction to an angel appearing. Apart from respect, there is no other reaction. However, when Peter shows up, Cornelius tries to worship him! Never underestimate the impact of someone who has experienced God first hand. The fact is, most people privately consider themselves to have experienced something “unexplained” or “supernatural.” It is not as big a deal as some might think. An angel would not make big difference to most. In fact, a lot of people have met angels and never known it.
All that being said, know that God does use angels, visions, dreams, and other strange things to get people into a position to hear the Gospel. It happened in the Bible and it happens today.

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