Acts 11 Lesson

Sharing The Gospel


Acts Chapter 11 brings to the forefront two important questions about sharing the Gospel:

  1. Whose responsibility is it to share the Gospel?
  2. Who are they supposed to share it with?

We will answer both of these questions in today’s lesson, beginning with a fundamental change that took place when the Gospel was first offered to the Gentiles.


Sharing the gospel with the Gentiles was a big deal! 

No longer was the word of God reserved for a Jewish audience only. Now the good news could be shared throughout the world, with both Jews and Gentiles!

As you might imagine, this change invoked quite a reaction from the Jewish people of the time. 

Luke writes:

  • And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him, saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” – Acts 11:2-3.

The way that Peter addressed their concerns is a wonderful example for us to follow, as we see in the following scripture:

  • But Peter began speaking and proceeded to explain to them in orderly sequence, saying, “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object coming down like a great sheet lowered by four corners from the sky; and it came right down to me, and when I had fixed my gaze on it and was observing it I saw the four-footed animals of the earth and the wild beasts and the crawling creatures and the birds of the air. I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘By no means, Lord, for nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But a voice from Heaven answered a second time, ‘What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.’” – Acts 11:4-9.

Peter took the time to share his testimony and the reasons for his faith, and the audience was receptive to his message. 

This is the same approach that we can take today. 

As we share the Gospel with others, we can start by doing the same two things that Peter did:

  1. Share our own personal conversion story,
  2. Highlight the reasons for our faith. 

Peter wrote about this responsibility in his first epistle:

  • “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” - 1 Peter 3:15.


As Peter shared his own personal story of faith in Acts 11:4-9, some may have initially thought that he was simply talking about what types of food to eat. 

Further inspection revealed something much more powerful! 

What Peter was referring to was the sharing of the Gospel, and how it is meant to be shared with all people, everywhere!  

Through a series of events, God brought Peter and Cornelius together to make it clear to all of us that the Gospel is meant to be preached to all people regardless of race, gender, nationality, or location!

Jesus drove home this point in what is commonly referred to as “The Great Commission:”

  • “All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth.Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and The Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Mathew 28:18-20.


In what is commonly referred to as, “The Great Commission,” Jesus said:

  • “All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Mathew 28:18-20.

Notice the following five phrases in the above scripture:

  1. "All authority,"
  2. "All nations,"
  3. "Baptizing,"
  4. "Teaching,"
  5. "Obey."

The authority of Jesus knows no limits!

As we reflect on The Great Commission, we need to consider what our role will be in sharing the Gospel.


Sharing the Gospel is everyone’s responsibility, and there are no limits as to where we can do that.

Today’s technology has opened new doors to sharing the Gospel that previously were closed.

If we do not know where to begin sharing the Gospel, we can follow the example of Peter by:

  1. Sharing our own personal conversion story,
  2. Highlighting the reasons for our faith. 

We will end today’s lesson with the following two verses.

They encourage us to do our part in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with the rest of the world:

  1. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” -Mark 16:15,
  2. “Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal.” - John 4:35-36.


Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?


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Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?


Diane F Reynolds
Virtual Bible Study

It made me think of gay ministers and how they will now be welcomed in the United Methodist Church.