“And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ Acts 11: 13-14
This is one of those passages that can easily be misused, misread, misinterpreted, isn’t it? Is Cornelius’ household saved because he is? Is your household saved because you are a follower of Jesus? The passage seems to say that.
However, Jesus Himself says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:23-25) And again, “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25) And also, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
So, Jesus says it requires a personal belief and trust in Him as LORD and Savior. So what then does Acts 11: 13-14 mean? My take on this is two-fold. First, I think that the message says that Peter will bring a message to Cornelius and his family which, if they choose to believe, will lead them to salvation and eternal life.
But also, I think, it implies that if Cornelius, the head of this particular household, becomes a Christian, a follower of Christ, he will thereby start a journey of faith, a walk in Jesus’ footsteps. As such, he will become a light of Jesus’ gift of salvation to those in his household. In this way, his family and servants will be continually exposed to a way of life and belief that, again, if they choose to believe, will lead them to Christ as Savior, too!
Anyway, just thinking ‘aloud’ about this. After all, we are told in Scripture to “meditate” on His Word, right?