Jesus Did It!
By: Jim Barbarossa, Evangelist
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Hi - my name is Jim Barbarossa. And if you'll permit me, I'd like to talk to you a little bit about the subject of being a good person. Are you a good person? I'd like to tell you a little bit about a man in the Bible that was considered a good person. We're going to read from Acts Chapter 10. There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a Centurion of the band called the Italian Band. This was a leader. This was a man who was given authority over 100 Italian soldiers.
Verse 2, A devout man and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people and prayed to God always.
So, this was a devoted man. A man devoted to God. A man whose whole house was devoted and feared God. A man who gave alms, or gave gifts, to people. And a man who prayed to God always. And that phrase, 'And prayed to God always,' in the original text means prayed to the one and only living God. Would you say this was a good man?
Verse 3, He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day, this was about three o'clock in the afternoon, an angel of God coming in to him and saying unto him, 'Cornelius.'
The three o'clock time, or the ninth hour of the day, was a time of prayer. So while Cornelius was in prayer, God sent an angel to him.
And when he looked on him, he was afraid and said, 'What is it Lord?'
He recognized this as being from the Lord or from God.
And he said unto him, the angel said unto him, unto Cornelius, thy prayers and thy alms are come up for a memorial before God. In other words, Cornelius, God sees everything you're doing. God hears your prayers. God sees the alms and the gifts that you're giving to people. They have come up as a sweet incense before God. God recognizes you, and He knows who you are.
Verse 5, And now send a man to Jappa and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter. Verse 6, And he lodges with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside, and he shall tell thee what though oughtest to do.
So, in other words, this angel comes to this good man, Cornelius, and says God has sent me to you. God knows who you are. He recognizes your prayers coming up. He sees the gifts you're giving to people. He knows that you're a good, respected man in your community, but God has told me to instruct you to go to this man whose surname is Peter. Go to this man Peter, who is staying with Simon a tnaner, and this man Peter will tell you what else though oughtest to do. In other words, he was saying, 'Cornelius, there's more. You're a good man. You're a good person. But there's more, and God wants you to send for this man Peter, so that he can tell you what it is that you need to be doing.'
I want to jump over to Chapter 11 of Acts for a moment. Verse 14, and it says, Who shall tell the words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. This is an explanation of what Peter was going to be telling Cornelius when he came to him. Who shall tell the words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. So, in other words, God sent an angel to tell Cornelius, 'Go send for this man Peter, and he's going to come back and tell you how you and your house can be saved.' In the scripture that I'm sharing with you, God sent an angel to warn this good man. An angel to tell this good man, 'There's more and you better find out what it is.' Today, I believe God is talking to you. He's not talking to you through an angel, but he's talking to you through this writing. And I believe God has put this writing in your hands. I believe God wants you to know today that being a good man, or a good woman, or a good person, or a good human being is not enough. God wants you to know that you need to be saved. Like this man names Cornelius, maybe you've been giving alms to the poor. Maybe you've been feeding the poor. Maybe you've been clothing the poor. Maybe you've been giving to the church. Maybe you've been giving to other charities. Maybe you've been going to church every Sunday. Maybe you are in fine standing in the community. People love you. People respect you. Well, just like this man Cornelius, God is telling you today, 'That is not enough. There's more.' And just like Cornelius, He wants you to find out how to be saved.
Let's go on in Chapter 7 and see what Cornelius then did. And when the angel was spoken unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants and a devote soldier of them that walked on him continually. And when he declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Jappa.
So when Cornelius was warned by the angel, he didn't hesitate. He didn't waste any time. But he called on one of his devoted servants, he called upon his soldier, and he sent them to go to Jappa to do what God had told him to do. And you today, you need to waste no time. But you need to find out what God wants you to know, and that is how to be saved.
Continuing in Verse 9, And on the morrow, as they went on their journey and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray upon the sixth hour. And he became very hungry and would have eaten, but while they made ready, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven open and a certain vessel descending upon him as it has been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth. Wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth and wild beasts and the creeping things and fouls of the air. And there came a voice to him, 'Rise Peter, kill and eat.' But Peter said, 'Not so Lord, for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.' And the voice spoke unto him again the second time, 'What God hath cleansed that call not thou common.' This was done thrice, and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold the men which were sent from Cornelius had made entry inquiry for Simon's house and stood before the gate. And called and asked whether Simon, which was surname Peter, was lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, 'Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore and get thee down. Go with them, doubting nothing, for I have sent them.' Then Peter went down to the men, which were sent unto him from Cornelius, and said, 'Behold, I am he whom you seek. What is the cause wherefore you are come?'
In other words, he was saying, 'What are you here for? What do you want of me? What can I do for you?'
And they said, 'Cornelius, the Centurion, a just man, one that feareth God and of good report among all the nations of the Jews, was warned from God by a holy angel to send for thee into his house and to hear words of thee.'
I mean, that is a powerful thing. God warned him by a holy angel. This man who was a devout man, this man who was a God-fearing man. It even says here this was a man who was of good report among all the nations of the Jews. This was a man who was in authority over soldiers. This was a man who was respected by people. This was a man who people looked up to. This was a man who gave to the poor, who gave alms. And God warned him and sent an angel to him, 'Cornelius, I see all of the things that you're doing. I know who you are. But there are words that you need to hear from this man named Simon and you have to send for him.'
And I wonder today, is God still warning people? And I believe He is. I believe one of the ways that God is warning people today is He is taking this tape and He is getting it to the hands of those who are good people. Those who are God-fearing people. Those who even pray to God. Those who even give. Those who even go to church. And He's saying through this message, 'I warn you, the things that you're doing are not enough. And you need to find out what it is that's missing.'
Verse 23, Then called he them in and lodged them and on the morrow Peter went away with them and a certain brethren from Jappa accompanied him. And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea and Cornelius waited for them and he had called together his kinsman and near friends.
So, Cornelius not only sent for this man Simon, but he also brought kinsmen, family, friends, those that respected him together to hear what this man had to say. To receive of the words that God wanted him to hear. And you know I think that's a good example for you and I. That we need to be open to hear from those that God sends. And we need to not only hear it ourselves, but we need to have a heart that we want our family and our friends and those who look up to us also to hear it.
And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, 'Stand up. I myself also am a man.' And as he talked with him, he went in and found many that were come together. And he said unto the, 'Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company or come into one of another nation, but God has showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore, came I unto you without gainsay as soon as I was sent for, I asked therefore what intent ye have sent for me.
So, Simon was basically saying, 'On my own, I probably wouldn't be here. On my own, I would have let our differences keep me away from you. But God said I was to come to you.
And Cornelius said, 'Four days ago, I was fasting until this hour and at the ninth hour, I prayed in my house and behold a man stood before me in bright clothing."
Again, Cornelius is sharing, 'I was praying. I was seeking God. And God sent an angel to me."
Verse 31, And said Cornelius, 'Thy prayer is heard, and thy alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Jappa and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter, he is lodged in the house of one Simon Ataner by the seaside, who when he cometh shall speak unto thee.'
Basically what's going on here is Cornelius is just going over this, and he's saying again, 'God sent an angel to me. This angel told me that God hears your prayers. God sees that you pay alms. God sees that you give gifts. And those things have come up as a memorial before God. He recognizes you. He acknowledges who you are. That God wants you to send for this man Simon because this man needs to come to you, and he needs to share and speak words to you.'
Verse 33, Immediately, therefore I sent to thee and thou has well done that thou are come. Now therefore, are we all here present before God to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
In other words, he was saying, 'I know that you speak for God. I know that God has brought you here. We have gathered here. We want to hear what God has for you to tell us.'
In verse 34, Then Peter opened his mouth and said, 'Of a truth, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons. But in every nation, he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel preaching peace by Jesus Christ, He is the Lord of all. That word I say ye know which was published throughout all Judea and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they slew and hanged on a tree. Him God raised up the third day and showed Him openly. Not to all the people but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead.
In other words, he was saying, 'I was there when He arose from the dead. I actually ate with Him. I actually sat with Him. I actually drank with Him. I saw Jesus of Nazareth. I was a witness of Jesus of Nazareth.'
Continuing in verse 42, And he commanded us to preach unto the people and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of the quick and the dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sin.
This is what God wanted Cornelius to hear. God wanted Cornelius to know that it was through Jesus Christ and what Jesus did upon the cross that Cornelius could have favor with God. He was basically saying, 'Cornelius, I know that you're a good man. I know that you are as good as you can possibly be. But that is not enough. I know that you pray to me. But that is not enough. I know that you give to the poor. But that is not enough.' Without Jesus Christ, without accepting what Jesus did when he died upon that cross and arose from the grave, without that, there is no forgiveness of sin.
The Bible says in Acts Chapter 4 Verse 12, Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.
In other words, it is only through Jesus. You may know God today. You may go to church. You may be an upstanding citizen as far as the laws of this land are concerned. But it is only through the name of Jesus that there can be remission of sin and salvation. Just like the man Cornelius, God is sending you a warning today through this tape. And that warning is that you must be born again. You must have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Knowing God is not enough. Praying to God is not enough. Giving is not enough. You must have a relationship through the Son, through Jesus Christ. The only way to the Father is through the Son. Maybe you're saying to yourself as you listen to this tape, 'How can this be so? I've been a good person all my life. I was raised in church. I've always gone to church. I've always prayed. I've always helped people. I've always gone out of my way to do good things for people. I'm a good person.' Well, I guess my question would be, 'By whose standards do we judge whether or not we're a good person?' Do we judge ourselves by the standards of the world, what the people around us think, what the law of the land says? You know that man named Cornelius that we read about, he was one that was looked upon well in his community. He was a man that was highly respected in his community. He was a man who was given authority over 100 soldiers. This was a man who, judged by the world, appear to be good. But remember, God sent an angel to him and warned him that he better find out what he was missing. And, of course, that was a relationship with Jesus Christ.
What we need to look at to determine our standing with God is the Ten Commandments. I want to look a little bit at those in the book of Exodus, Chapter 20.
The first commandment: Worship no other gods.
The second commandment: You shall not make any idols.
Have you ever put the things in your life on a pedestal and made them more important to you than God is? If you have done that, you would be breaking one of God's commandments.
The third commandment: You shall not use the name of God irreverently, nor use it the swear.
Have you ever used God's name to curse somebody? God's name should only be used to praise Him, to worship Him. His name should be used in reverence.
The fourth commandment: Observe the Sabbath as holy day. On that day, you are to do no work.
Do you go in for extra days to make extra money on the Sabbath?
The fifth commandment: Honor your father and your mother.
This is even talking about when you were younger. Did you honor your father and your mother?
The sixth commandment: You must not murder.
And Jesus even took it another step further in Matthew 5:22, he said, If you are only angry, you are in danger of judgment. Do you hold anger in your heart against others?
The seventh commandment: You must not commit adultery.
And Jesus took that another step, and he said in Matthew 5:28, Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Have you looked at a woman, have you looked at another human being, have you looked at a person with lust in your heart?
The eighth commandment: You must not steal.
Have you ever stolen anything? It doesn't matter how big it was or how small it was. It doesn't matter what it cost, how expensive it was. It doesn't matter if it's something you stole many, many years ago, or even as a child, a piece of bubble gum. The question is, have you stolen? If you've stolen, you've broken God's law. You've broken one of the commandments. What do you call a person who steals? A thief. If you've stolen, you're a thief.
The ninth commandment: You must not lie.
Have you ever lied? It doesn't matter, again, if it's a big lie or a little lie. A lie is a lie. Have you ever stretched the truth? Have you ever only told part of the story? Have you ever just told the things that would be beneficial to you and left other parts out? Have you ever lied? If you have, what does that make you? It makes you a liar.
And the tenth commandment: You must not be envious.
You must not be envious of your neighbor's house, or his car, or his boat, or his camper, or his things, his wife, his possessions. Have you ever been envious of the things that others have? You know at this point, you may be thinking,
'But, my, who could ever live by all of those laws? Who could ever abide by or live by all of those rules?' Have you lived, have you abided by those rules? Have you abided by those laws? Do you know if you have only broken one of them, then you have sinned against God? And let's look into the book of Revelations and see what happens to those that break God's commandments, or God's laws. In the book of Revelations, Chapter 21, starting in Verse 5, the Word of God says, And the one sitting on the throne said, 'See, I am making all things new. And then he said to me, write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true. It is finished. I am the A and the Z. The beginning and the end. And I will give to the thirsty the springs of the water of life as a gift. Everyone who conquers will inherit all these blessings, and I will be his God, and he will be my son. Those that are thirsty, that will inherit the springs of the water of life, are those that cry out for God and receive Jesus Christ as their savior. The gift is Jesus Christ. Everyone who conquers in life, everyone who receives Jesus Christ in life, will inherit all these blessings. And I will be his God, and he will be my son.
So, that's what awaits those that cry out to God and receive Jesus Christ as savior.
But then it goes on in Verse 8, and it says what will happen to those that break God's commandments, that break his laws. But cowards who turn back from following me, those who never accept Jesus Christ, and those who are unfaithful to me, and the corrupt, and the murders, and the immoral, and those conversing with demons, and idol worshippers, and all liars, their doom is in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This is the second death.
This is the place where liars go. You may remember, we went over the commandments earlier, and I asked you, 'Have you ever lied?' If you have, then you're a liar. If you have lived without Jesus Christ, you have earned the right to go to hell. Without Jesus Christ, there is no hope. No, you can't keep those commandments on your own. It is impossible. You could not do it. The only one that could keep all of those commandments was Jesus Christ himself. Remember, Jesus came to fulfill the law. And for you to be able to live by the law, you need Jesus Christ. It is only through the forgiveness of your sins and bringing those sins to Jesus Christ that those sins can be covered and taken away by His blood, so that you can then be favorable and have favor in the sight of God and be with God in heaven. It is only through Jesus Christ.
It doesn't matter if you've been going to church for ten years, twenty years, thirty years. It doesn't matter if you've been good to all your neighbors. It doesn't matter if you've taken care of people around you, gave to the poor. If you haven't done the one thing that Peter told Cornelius he'd better find out, which is being saved by Jesus Christ. If you haven't done that one thing, all of those other things are a waste of time, because you will still end up in the same place that Cornelius would have without Jesus Christ. And that, my friend, is hell.
In John 14, Verse 6, Jesus sayeth unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.
It doesn't say no man cometh to the Father but by doing good work or by going to church or by giving to the poor. It says that no man cometh to the Father, except by Me. By Jesus. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
There is no other way to the Father except a man be born again and come through Jesus Christ. In John 3:16, the Word of God says, For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
In other words, anybody that would choose to believe in Jesus Christ would not perish but have everlasting life with God in heaven. It doesn't say those who are good. It doesn't say those who do this or do that. It doesn't say anything other than, if a person wants eternal life, it is through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Continuing in Verse 17,
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned. He that believeth on Jesus is not condemned. But he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
What that's saying is, those that have chosen not to believe in Jesus are condemned already to the fate of all of those who disobeyed God's law, the Ten Commandments. When they stand before God on judgment day, guilty of breaking those laws, they will be sentenced to the only place a just God could sentence them, and that will be hell. God didn't condemn them. They condemned themselves by not believing in Jesus Christ. Have you condemned yourself today? Have you chosen not to believe on Him, not to believe on Jesus Christ? It's your choice. It's heaven, or it's hell. It's your choice. Maybe as you hear this, you're saying in your heart, 'Oh, if only I knew this before. I want to change. I've done my best, but I can see by the Word of God that my best hasn't been good enough, that I could never be right before God because I've broken His commandments. I want to change. What can I do?'
Well, again, let's look to the Word of God. In Romans Chapter 10, Verse 9, the Bible says, If thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, though shalt be saved.
So, that's what you need to do. You need to believe and confess Jesus Christ as your savior.
Verse 10, For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
If you want to be saved, you need to believe it in your heart, and you need to confess it from your mouth. But you may be saying, 'What do I need to confess?' You need to confess that you are a sinner.
The Bible says, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. You need to confess that you are a sinner. You need to confess, 'Yes, I have broken God's law. I have lied. I'm a liar. I have stolen. I'm a thief. I have committed adultery in my heart as I lusted after another human being. I have cursed, using God's name in vain. I have not always honored my mother and father. I have not kept the Sabbath. I have broke God's law.'
Continuing in Verse 11, For the scripture sayeth whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. In other words, anybody that believeth on Jesus will not be disappointed.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Anybody who will confess their sins, meaning it in their heart, and cry out to God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved.
My friend, there are people all over this world who have believed that they had a place in heaven, who had believed that they had done enough in God's sight to earn them a place in heaven. They had thought that being a good person, treating their neighbors good, helping people, giving a loan to a friend when they needed it, working on a person's house they needed help.
There are people who have just been good and done great things and have thought that they were right in God's sight and that these good deeds would somehow, someday give them an opportunity to be with God in heaven.
And we can see very clearly today, through the Word of God, that God said, 'No, that is not so.' That God said, 'Cornelius, I warn you, even though I see all the good deeds and all the great things you're doing, I warn you, you better find out what's missing. And when he sent for that man named Peter, Peter told him the part that was missing was he had to acknowledge that Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, came to earth, came as a man, died upon the cross, rose again from the dead, and that if he would believe that in his heart and confess it, that he would be saved.
And I caution you today, do not let the spirit of pride stop you from confessing Jesus Christ today as your savior. Do not let the pride rise up and say, 'I'm good enough. I'm not a sinner. I'm right in God's eyes.'
Because I'm telling you today, that if you have never asked God for forgiveness and asked Jesus Christ to come into your heart, if you have never cried out in repentance, you are not good enough. Good people do not go to heaven. People who are right with God go to heaven. And the only way to be right with God is through Jesus Christ.
If you are ready to know for sure that you have a place with God in heaven and that your sins have been forgiven, I want you to pray with me right now.
'Dear God, I am a sinner. I have broken your commandments. I have stolen. I have lied. I have broken Your laws. God, I confess these things today for what they are. Sin. And I call upon Your mercy, and I ask that You forgive me. I believe that You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, and that Jesus died upon the cross, that He arose from the dead, that He took upon my sins, so that I could have favor with You. God, be merciful upon me, and forgive me of my sins. Jesus, come into my heart, and lead me and guide me for the rest of my life. I commit to You this day, that I will start to read the Bible, that I will start to go to church, that I will fellowship with believers, and I will share my faith with others that I come in contact with. God, be merciful upon me, a sinner.'
If you have just said that prayer, you are now more than just a good person, but you are a person who is right with God through Jesus Christ. We welcome you into the family of God. We hope that you will contact us at email@example.com. We'd like to hear from you. We want you to know that there should be changes taking place from this point on in your life, that you should look at things differently, and see them differently, and act differently. There should be fruit of your Christianity, and part of that fruit should be leading others to Jesus Christ.
Remember, the Bible says that you need to confess with your mouth. Go to someone that you know who is a believer in Jesus Christ, and share with them what you have done. Share with them that you have asked Christ to be your savior.
Again, we urge you to write to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This message that you have been listening to is part of the 'Tools' series, a series that has been designed to use as witnessing tools to touch and change people's lives. If you'd like more information on the other tapes that are available, again, call us or write to us.
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The staff and our ministry supporters so greatly appreciate hearing how God is touching lives for His glory through this outreach. If this ministry has touched you in some special way, would you please consider taking a brief moment and share your blessing with us? It is always encouraging to hear how God is using this ministry to touch lives for His glory through this outreach. Simply email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We truly thank each of you who allow us to publish your testimony, for those who faithfully pray (and fast) for this outreach, for those of you who help support the ministry financially, and for those of you who pass along these testimonies and other ministry writings to others. The part the Holy Spirit has you play is vital in helping win lost souls and being engaged in discipleship, and we can never thank you enough for the labor of love and support you provide on behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Precious Testimonies is supported financially by those God impresses to sow into this ministry. We bring before the Lord in prayer the needs of the ministry as He determines them; ask Him to meet them; trust Him to meet them; engage in warfare prayer on a regular basis (and occasional fasting) as the Holy Spirit moves us to; remain patient for His perfect timing to be administered in these matters; and are truly thankful to Him when answers are met by Him. (Mark 11:22-24 is our guidelines - pathway - roadmap to God in all this).
A financial summary of yearly giving can be viewed by clicking on the following link: Financial Summary.
For convenience, you can simply click on the secure Pay Pal donate button below if you want to donate by credit card. Otherwise, you can send your precious gift to:Precious Testimonies, P.O. Box 516, Jenison, MI 49429.
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