“And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.””(Acts 10:15)
In a vision, God makes it clear to Peter that the gospel is for the nations. Peter is sent to Cornelius, who was a centurion, a Gentile. He was not a part of the nation of Israel by birth, but Peter was sent to fellowship with and present the good news of Jesus to him and those who were with him.
In this instance, God shows that He is for the nations. The good news that Jesus provides forgiveness of sins is not solely a message for Israel. Rather it is a message for the entire world. As Peter says in verse 43,
“To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43)
Everyone who believes in Jesus, no matter what background or nationality, can experience salvation. They can be forgiven of their sins and experience peace with God.
We are a testimony to God’s plan for the nations. Most of you who are reading this post are Gentiles who have been grafted into Israel. We are the nations. In order to continue to reach the nations, we don’t have to go much further than our own community. That is not to say we shouldn’t send missionaries overseas, we certainly should. But we must not forget that the nations to whom Jesus directs the disciples are you and me. We have the nations in our own backyard.
Part of living life “on mission” for Jesus is to reach the nations. We have an opportunity to do that each and everyday. Will you begin building relationships with your neighbors and co-workers in an attempt to reach the nations? Will you have someone over to your home for dinner in an attempt to reach the nations? Will you walk across the ball field and talk to another parent on the sidelines in an attempt to reach the nations? Will you have lunch with a co-worker in an attempt to reach the nations?
The nations are right here in our own backyard will you make an attempt to reach them?