ImmerseMessiah NLT - Flipbook - Page 92
for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius
asked him to stay with them for several days.
Soon the news reached the apostles and other believers in Judea that the
Gentiles had received the word of God. But when Peter arrived back in
Jerusalem, the Jewish believers criticized him. “You entered the home of
Gentiles and even ate with them!” they said.
Then Peter told them exactly what had happened. “I was in the town of
Joppa,” he said, “and while I was praying, I went into a trance and saw a
vision. Something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners from
the sky. And it came right down to me. When I looked inside the sheet, I
saw all sorts of tame and wild animals, reptiles, and birds. And I heard a
voice say, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.’
“‘No, Lord,’ I replied. ‘I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws
have declared impure or unclean.’
“But the voice from heaven spoke again: ‘Do not call something unclean
if God has made it clean.’ This happened three times before the sheet and
all it contained was pulled back up to heaven.
“Just then three men who had been sent from Caesarea arrived at the
house where we were staying. The Holy Spirit told me to go with them
and not to worry that they were Gentiles. These six brothers here accompanied me, and we soon entered the home of the man who had sent for
us. He told us how an angel had appeared to him in his home and had told
him, ‘Send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter.
He will tell you how you and everyone in your household can be saved!’
“As I began to speak,” Peter continued, “the Holy Spirit fell on them, just
as he fell on us at the beginning. Then I thought of the Lord’s words when
he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy
Spirit.’ 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?”
When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising
God. They said, “We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the
privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.”
Meanwhile, the believers who had been scattered during the persecution
after Stephen’s death traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch of
Syria. They preached the word of God, but only to Jews. However, some of
the believers who went to Antioch from Cyprus and Cyrene began preaching to the Gentiles about the Lord Jesus. The power of the Lord was with
them, and a large number of these Gentiles believed and turned to the Lord.
When the church at Jerusalem heard what had happened, they sent
Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s