When does “everyone” really mean everyone? Certainly not when a teenager has been refused permission to attend a particular event and responds in a whining tone: “But mom/dad, everyone is going to be there!”
But at least one instance in which everyone really does mean everyone is when we say that the gospel is good news for everyone.
As early as Genesis, the seed was planted in God’s call of Abram: “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). It was reaffirmed in the angelic announcement of Jesus’ birth: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Lk. 2:10).
And here in Acts 10, the reality that the good news of Jesus Christ is for everyone comes to fruition as God uses a series of visions to announce and orchestrate the spreading of the gospel beyond the Jewish people as “the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles” (Acts 10:45).
The gospel is good news for everyone, because “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13). And because everyone really does mean everyone, the gospel is not only good news for you but also for people that aren’t like you – people with different backgrounds, stories, and struggles. People from different socioeconomic classes and denominations and political parties (gasp!). People from every tribe, tongue, and nation. As I try to occasionally remind you in my preaching, if you’ve placed your faith in Christ, you’re going to spend eternity with a lot of people that aren’t like you.
So what does this mean at a practical level? It means that because the gospel is good news for everyone, no one is beyond the reach of God’s redemption. May we be a people desperate to see the good news of Jesus Christ extended to everyone–in Elizabethtown and Cecilia and Glendale and Radcliff and Rineyville and Vine Grove and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8, kind of).