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Urgent Plea To Take Action

Acts 2:40-41
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, 'Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.' Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (NIVUK)

These verses are Luke's comments, based on eye witness accounts, of Peter's evangelistic talk before the Pentecost crowds. The account we have in Acts 2:14-39 is a summary of the content of his message. It was all about Jesus – the rejected King who was crucified but came back to life and holds the whole world to account. The Holy Spirit empowered the apostle to speak the truth so that the people were convicted of their sin and wanted to get right with God.

Those present clearly remember Peter repeatedly urging them to repent and throw themselves upon God's mercy. He pleaded with them to take action; to stop rebelling against God; to be different from their generation who had demanded the death of Christ, and were heading for God's judgement. By saying 'save yourselves' he was saying that God's salvation is available, but they had to accept that they needed to be saved and choose to receive God's salvation.

The Holy Spirit used Peter's words to bring three thousand people to repentance. They admitted that they had got it wrong about Jesus and they submitted to Him as God's appointed King. Their baptism was a very public repentance and declaration of personal faith as they chose to submit to this physical action. It was God's way for them to say that they had changed sides and were not going back. They now belonged to Jesus and were not ashamed of Him (Luke 9:36).

The gospel message is not one of a million spiritual options which might improve life: it is the only way to avoid eternal judgement. Peter later said that there is no other way to get right with God (Acts 4:12). The gospel message is not just information; it is packed with urgency to take action, and trust in Jesus alone for salvation (Acts 17:30). That is still true. Emergency services would be considered negligent if they ignored an obvious threat to life. The church is negligent if God's people fail to warn a corrupt world of God's wrath, especially as Jesus has provided a saving remedy for sinful people. True gospel urgency loves people for Christ's sake, tells them clearly what they need to know, and then encourages them to repent and commit themselves to the only Saviour of the world (Jude 1:23). So, Christian: go out in the power of the Spirit. Seek out the lost, love them, tell them clearly and encourage them to say, 'yes' to Jesus (www.crosscheck.org.uk).

Saving God. Thank You for telling me how to be saved, and how to work with You so that others can find salvation in Jesus too. Forgive me for being negligent by not working with Your Holy Spirit, failing to tell my friends and colleagues about Jesus and failing to encourage them to repent and trust You. Please fill me again with Your Spirit and give me courage so that I will be a faithful servant as I work with You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams