When God wants to change the status quo, He often starts by giving someone a vision. That’s what broke a centuries-old racial barrier and allowed the Gentiles to hear the Gospel for the first time. Did you know you can be a Christian and be prejudiced? Yes, you can be a believer and be biased towards people you don’t know or understand because you’ve spent your life avoiding them and making judgments about them.
Jesus told His disciples, ‘This Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.’ (Matthew 24:14 NKJV) And Peter was present when Jesus said it. But either he wasn’t listening, or he didn’t like what he heard. Back then, the divide between Jews and Gentiles was similar to the mistrust many British people felt towards German nationals living in the UK during World War II.
God told Peter to go to the house of Cornelius and preach the Gospel—to a Gentile, a person Peter considered ‘unclean’. Prejudice is the product of a closed mind. It’s contempt prior to honest investigation. It’s pride that must be humbled. So how did God change Peter’s heart? It required two different visions! God gave Cornelius a vision in which He told him to invite a Jewish preacher named Peter into his home to preach the gospel. And at the same time, He gave Peter a vision in which He basically told him, ‘If I accept someone, don’t you dare reject them!’
The truth is, when God wants to change things, He starts the process by giving someone a vision—and that someone could be you!