Pleaded and Warned:Save Yourselves!
Scripture reading for November 6th: Acts 1-4
Luke wrote the Book of Acts to record the work of the early church following the ascension of Jesus to Heaven. Luke tells us how these first disciples waited and then received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and how they they then took the Gospel from Jerusalem to Samaria and then to the ends of the earth. In general, the first 12 chapters focus on Peter, the Apostle and the last 16 chapter focus on Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles.
Peter’s preaching on the Day of Pentecost is an impressive example of Gospel presentation in this early church. Peter was in Jesus’ inner circle and had proclaimed that he would remain true to Jesus no matter what the others did. Peter denied Jesus three times as Jesus had predicted and he wept bitterly at his own failure. After the resurrection, Jesus restored Peter and Peter became the spokesman for the Apostles. After receiving the Holy Spirit, Peter stood to answer the crowd and the mockers that thought they were all drunk. (Acts 2:12-21) He told them that this was the fulfillment of the prophesy given by Joel concerning the last days. He told them about Jesus, the one who was shown to be the Son of God by signs and wonders, the one that they had crucified and put to death. He also told them of the resurrection of Jesus and the many witnesses of this truth. (Acts 2:22-36) Jesus Christ was both Lord and Christ!
This preaching brought great conviction on those who heard and they asked, “Brothers, what shall we do?” “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For this promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off.” (Acts 2:38-39a) Peter pleaded with them and warned them with many more words to be saved from this corrupt generation that they were living in. About 3000 were saved that day!
Good preachers care about their flock. They want all to be saved. They preach a clear Gospel message and give direct invitations to those who desire salvation. They warn and plead those who are wavering or unsure. Jesus will save all who call on Him, but we must save ourselves by calling out in faith!