Monday, January 16, 2012

Refreshing News in Peter's Sermon at Pentecost

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
There is some refreshing news in Peter's sermon at Pentecost: "It shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh. ... Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:17, 21). That sounds like Good News, but is it too good?
The words "all flesh" surely mean everybody in the world. How can it be true? Note that Peter does not say that everybody will RECEIVE the Holy Spirit; he only says that God will give the gift to everybody. Jesus can help us understand. He says that "when He [the Holy Spirit] is come, He will reprove [convict] the world of sin, … because they believe not on Me" (John 16:7-9). The Father "so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son" (3:16). Christ "was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (1:9).

The ancient Jews wouldn't believe this, for they thought that only they are "lighted." But Gentiles are also included! The Holy Spirit sheds light on every human heart; that person may not RECEIVE the light, but in the last great judgment day, no one can accuse God of not letting some light shine upon his pathway, some evidence on which that soul could make a choice. In every human heart the Holy Spirit has brought a conviction of sin, a sense of right and wrong. And blessed are those who respond to that conviction the Holy Spirit gives.

But there's another statement in Peter's sermon that arrests our attention: "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Of course, that must mean, "in sincerity" (Eph. 6:24). God pays attention to "all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours" (1 Cor. 1:2). Here is His "much more abounding grace": "the same Lord … is rich unto all that call upon Him" (Rom. 10:12). David says, "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles" (Psalm 34:6).

Do you feel sinful and unworthy? Call upon the Lord, and believe that in His mercy He will hear you. Yes, He will convict you of sin; but thank Him for that with all your heart!

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 23, 1999.
Copyright © 2012 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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