In the house of Cornelius the centurion, Peter gave a sermon in a crowded room (Acts 10:34-43). He preached to Gentile unbelievers in the first recorded sermon given to Gentiles.
Toward the end of Luke’s record of the speech, Peter says, “He [Jesus] 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” (Acts 10:42).
Peter’s point is very instructive for Christian evangelism. Since we are called to “preach to the people,” we must make sure the content of what we say does not omit the hard truths of the Christian faith. Jesus told Peter to tell people that He is the judge! Preaching Jesus as the judge of all people (you either fit into “the living” category or “the dead” category) may not be popular, but it is essential to the gospel message. After all, what will the cross mean to unbelievers if they are unaware of what Christ’s death can save them from? What will grace mean to a lost person if he/she does not believe there is any iniquity that needs the forgivng grace of God?
Warn sinners that Jesus is the judge. The horrifying news of God’s wrath and judgment upon sin is a great foundation to then speak passionately, humbly, and boldly about the good news of Christ’s death on behalf of sinners. Let unbelievers hear the bad news before the good news. Tell them that Jesus “is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42), BUT (and here’s the good news) “everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43). Praise the Lord for the good news of the gospel!