and with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “save yourselves from this crooked generation.” so those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. [acts 2:40-41]
there is a pattern here that we will see many times throughout the book of acts. preaching, hearing, receiving, baptizing. over and over again. this is how the apostles and other disciples will carry out the great commission that Jesus gave them before he returned to the Father’s right hand. “go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” [mark 16:15]
and look what an affect their obedience to this command can have, empowered by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. three thousand souls! souls. not false commitments. not half hearted peer pressure movement. but souls. souls that were once blinded by darkness, following the prince of the power of the air. but in these few moments, these souls are transformed by the gospel of Christ. called out of the darkness, and into God’s marvelous light!
many (and hopefully all!) of us find ourselves in a similar scenario to peter’s. surrounded by people who we long to see saved from a crooked generation. parents, children, spouses, friends, co-workers, classmates, teachers. countless daily interactions with souls that need to receive the word of the gospel!
for “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
how then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? and how are they to hear without someone preaching? and how are they to preach unless they are sent? as it is written, “how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” but they have not all obeyed the gospel. for isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” so faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. [romans 10:13-17]
they must be called out of darkness by the word of Christ. and we are called to be the catalyst of the word! so how are we doing? as individuals? as couples? families? as the body of Christ? is the word of the gospel on your lips, like peter, filled with the boldness of the Holy Spirit, flavored with urgency, yet filled with hope?
if this is not typical of your interactions, consider your obedience to the great commission. this is not a command reserved for missionaries! this is for you! today, ask the Lord to give you a broken heart for the lost. ask for the love it takes to share Christ with them. ask for zeal for the spreading of his glory. then look for opportunities and the Spirit will be faithful to lead!
if this is typical of your interactions, do not grow weary in doing good! the Lord is faithful, even if you aren’t seeing fruit right now. let your obedience to Christ and his presence in your proclamation of his goodness be your satisfaction. let the love of Christ compel you and his joy strengthen you. his word will not return void. so press on, and may the preaching of the gospel bring many sons to glory!
~ arwen eastman