What If


One summer as a kid I went to a backyard Bible club at Mrs. Ortiz’s. We played games, ate snacks, and heard a lesson from the Bible about God loving us enough to send Jesus to die for us, to be buried, and to rise again. I thought, “If God loves me this much, then of course, I will trust him with my life.” But what if Mrs. Ortiz hadn’t been willing to host the club? Or the lady wasn’t willing to teach the lesson? Or my mom didn’t take me? Or I refused to go that day? In today’s passage, there is a big “what if” that has worldwide implications.

  • What would some of the implications be if your father never met your mother?


10:1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What do we learn about Cornelius, as a person, in this passage?
  2. If Cornelius was not Jewish and not a Samaritan, then what was he?
  3. Why did God tell Cornelius to go get Peter?
  4. How did Cornelius respond to the angel of God both immediately and following (vss. 4, 7-8)?
  5. Whom did God use to share the good news of Jesus with you? What would it look like for you to be obedient to share the good news of Jesus with those you come in contact with today?


Previously, the gospel had been preached primarily to Jews, but the shift in Acts 10 is huge—it records salvation coming to the Gentiles. Cornelius was a God-fearing Italian. Simply put, he was a religious Gentile who prayed and gave alms but did not know the good news of Jesus. God was preparing Peter to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, and he was preparing Cornelius to hear and believe the gospel. God told Cornelius to go get Peter, and so he did. But what if Cornelius hadn’t obeyed God all the way, right away? What if the servants hadn’t obeyed Cornelius all the way, right away? What if Peter hadn’t obeyed God all the way, right away? Who knows how many people will come to know Jesus if you obey God all the way, right away!

  • Thank God for the people he used to bring you to faith in Jesus.
  • Ask God to help you obey him all the way, right away.