“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
The End of Guilt
Jesus’ message about Judgment Day was simple: “Watch out that no one deceives you.” and “see to it that you are not alarmed” (Matthew 24:4,6).
Peter had not forgotten this warning. Once we knew that “Jesus is the Lord of all,” we also realize that he has the right to judge all. Old Testament visions (Daniel 7:9-14) reveal this truth about Jesus, the Lord of all. Jesus says, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left” (Matthew 25:31-33).
Peter witnessed to Cornelius that they both would stand in front of this Jesus on the last day because “Jesus is the Lord of all.” That’s why Jesus commanded Peter “to preach to the people and testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.”
God reassured our sin-filled parents that the seed of the woman [Jesus] would crush the devil’s power. Jesus’ death brought to Cornelius, his family and “everyone who believes in him,” the end of guilt through the forgiveness of sins. The dying Lamb of God “takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). That means that we who have put our trust in Jesus do not need to fear Judgment Day because we know the Judge. We know his mercy and his love for the whole world.
We know that we and all who trust the words and promises of the Bible will enter heaven together. We know that in heaven we will see “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.” Look closely! By God’s grace you will see Cornelius and his family, and they will see you!
Gracious Holy Spirit, reassure us and give us the peace of forgiveness in Christ so that we never fear Judgment Day, but long for the appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen