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My Excuses Abound…but…

May 21, 2012

There is going to come a time for every believer…a time when they can’t resist any longer…a time when the need to share the Gospel overwhelms the fear of mockery, rejection, or just plain indifference.  And the truth is that this reality is something that scares some of us out of our minds.  Because we’re planners…and extremely pragmatic…we are terrified of the possibility of being caught off guard.  Yet, we see that’s how it happens most of the time in the Scriptures.

Take a couple minutes and read through Acts 2:14-41.

This is essentially the first sermon after the ascension of Jesus after the resurrection…and I love how Peter is sort of forced to begin.  He basically says, “Listen guys, we aren’t drunk…it’s only 9 o’clock in the morning.”  Listen, Peter didn’t have a plan…he didn’t even have notes…what he had was a reason to share, and that might be the most important thing to see here.  As he quotes the prophet Joel, he is encouraging the people to look around and realize that what Joel had said was being accomplished.  He’s just saying, “This is happening…we can hardly believe it too, but just take a look around, and you will see that it is happening right in front of you.”

Verses 22-24 have a tone of urgency to them…it’s like Peter must get these words out…there is a desperation inherent in what he is saying…sort of a, “Don’t you get it” feel to what he is saying.  It’s a reminder that Jesus did all these things…signs and wonders…in plain view.  He wasn’t hidden away.  He did these things, and you saw it.  You did…you saw it…you’ve heard about it…you know it!  It’s not a secret…it’s public domain.  This Jesus is the one who did them, this man you crucified…that very same one…He’s the Christ.  Then he brings up King David, which, just for the record, is sort of swinging for the fences in a Hebrew setting.  David, for lack of a better phrase, is just a big deal.  But, Peter is pointing out that David died…and when he died, he stayed dead.  He’s saying that as great as David was…he is still dead…but Jesus is the One who David said would not see corruption.

Now, this is not necessarily a “seeker friendly” sermon.  In fact, it is quite the opposite…he keeps telling them that they killed Jesus, a guilt that you and I have on us as well.  But look what happens?  The Spirit begins to move and they ask the simple, but weighty question, “What shall we do?”  The answer isn’t complicated.  He just says, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”

Here’s the question and application for you…what will you tell people?  Some will respond with, “Well, I’m not trained for that.”  Okay…Peter was a fisherman.  Some might say, “But I don’t know enough of the Bible.”  Pick it up and read it…how do you think that Peter heard the words of the prophet Joel?  We have got to get past the idea that there are only certain people that God can use in His plan of redemption.  I can’t help but think of the man born blind in John 9.  You remember him.  Jesus spits on him, heals him, and the man’s response to the Pharisees is, “Whether he (Jesus) is a sinner I do not know.  One thing I do know is that though I was blind, now I see.”  I think it might just be that simple.  At that first sermon, Peter effectively said the same thing.  All I know is I was blind…but (and that’s an important “but”) now I see.

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