Gospel: All Souls Matter

All Lives Matter” is a slogan that came to the forefront of the media in 2016. While the statement is absolutely true, the appropriateness of its use has been debated since it can be dismissive of injustices in society.

However, no one can argue the validity of the statement “All Souls Matter.” It is not merely a slogan but a biblical truth, based on the universal need of all of humanity – “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23)[1] – and the love of God for all – “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (Joh 3:16).

The truth that “All Souls Matter” comes into focus in Acts 10, one of the pivotal moments in the history of the early New Testament Church. Cornelius, a Roman centurion, was seeking the Lord, and the Lord was about to reveal to the disciples that He was interested in all souls; the gospel was about to start flowing out to the Gentiles.

Ten years earlier, standing by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus called to Peter and Andrew, saying, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mat 4:19). From that day, they left their fishing gear and followed their new Master, preaching the good news “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mat 10:6). Now, in Acts 10, situated by the much larger Mediterranean Sea, Peter discovered that the gospel fishing grounds were exponentially larger than he had first thought; the great commission of Christ now made sense: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mar 16:15 KJV).

Through a vision, the Lord communicated to Peter that the Gentiles, once considered to be unclean, should no longer be regarded as such: “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy” (Act 10:15). This coincided with instructions that the Lord had given to Cornelius to send for Peter, who would speak words by which he would be saved (11:14). Peter concluded that “God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him” (Act 10:34-35).

Before a Gentile audience in the home of Cornelius, Peter preached a Christ-centered message, telling of the Anointed One – His life, His death, His resurrection, and His commission to preach the message of the gospel. He ended his message by calling to witness the Old Testament Scriptures: “Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins” (10:43).

Thank God that the gospel transcends all barriers, bridges all divides, and reaches out to every human! None is excluded – from the Jew to the Gentile, from the uneducated fisherman to the Roman officer – all are condemned under sin, but all are loved by God.

“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom 10:12-13).


[1] All Scripture quotations are from the NASB unless otherwise noted.