Family & Friends

Family & Friends

And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends(ESV)

Acts 10:24

            Acts 10 records for us Peter’s proclamation of the gospel to the Gentiles.  This follows his famous vision in which God granted His people, through Peter the Apostle, the freedom to forego the dietary laws of the Old Testament. Such laws had prevented them from socializing with non-Jews.  Christ had come and fulfilled the ceremonial laws in His life, death, and resurrection.  No longer would diet be a means of seeing the separation God calls between the world and His people.  The object lessons were over.

            Peter, as noted, then is directed by God to go to the home of Cornelius, “a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation,” (v.22).  Peter goes to proclaim the gospel as he indeed does.  But notice, in the verse above, how Cornelius prepares for Peter’s, and thus the gospel’s, arrival.

            Cornelius calls together “his relatives and close friends.”  Cornelius reached out to those he knew and cared about and invited them to hear about Jesus.  This verse is very encouraging for us as we consider how to reach out with the gospel.

            At a minimum, we can bring along family and friends to be exposed to God’s Word and God’s people.  We can bring them to worship.  We can bring them to small groups. We can bring them to informal, fun fellowship gatherings with other believers. 

            We don’t have to think of outreach as being in “having to answer the hardest questions I can think of” mode.  Reaching out starts with simply caring for others.  Like Cornelius, we have family and friends, as well as co-workers and neighbors we know and care about that we can bring along.

            I was encouraged by Cornelius’ example in Acts 10.  I hope you are too.  Let’s be praying for those we already know and with whom we have relationships that can be “called together” with us.  Who knows what God might do?

Paul Bankson

Paul was born and raised in Birmingham, AL and graduated from Auburn University in 1986 with a degree in Business Administration. It was at Auburn that he met his wife, Connie. They were married in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and moved to Jackson, MS where he attended Reformed Theological Seminary graduating with a Master of Divinity in 1991. Upon graduation, Paul served as a Campus Minister with RUF, the campus ministry of the PCA, at Tennessee-Martin where the Banksons lived for 5 years. They moved to Macon, GA in 1996 to work with RUF at Mercer University and then Paul joined the pastoral staff at First Presbyterian Church of Macon as an Assistant Pastor in 1999. In 2004, Paul and his family moved to Warner Robins where he served as a church planter and then organizing Pastor of Houston Lake Presbyterian Church. In December 2014 Paul completed a Doctor of Ministry degree through Reformed Theological Seminary of Orlando. Paul and Connie have three sons, Andrew (23), Stephen (20), and Matthew (15). Paul enjoys grilling, camping with his family, and Auburn sports (War Eagle!).