Summary: Acts two tells us about the prerequisites that must be in place before a person can come to faith in Christ.
1. Illus. of funeral
• Young man died under tragic circumstances.
• Left behind a broken hearted wife and two broken hearted parents.
• After the funeral, the father came and talked to me about his son.
• Never forget the comment he made. With tears in his eyes, he said, “the worse part is that, as far as I know, my boy died without Christ.”
2. . Are you here today and would say, “Pastor, that’s my greatest nightmare. I have a lost parent, a lost husband, a lost child or grandchild. I would give anything to see them become a Christian. I do not want them to die without Christ.” If this is you, then listen carefully. If you are going to help them, you need to understand what has to happen in a person’s life before they can become a Christian.
3. Text: In our text, Dr. Luke described for his readers the spiritual prerequisites that had to be in place before these people could come to Christ on the day of Pentecost.
4. Today: Your loved ones cannot come to Christ until certain key spiritual prerequisites are in place.
5. What are these prerequisites?
I. YOU CANNOT BE SAVED UNTIL YOU HEAR THE GOSPEL
1. In vss 22-36, Peter preaches to the crowd that came running in response to the commotion surrounding Pentecost. If you analyze his sermon, it breaks down this way:
Vss 22-23- You crucified Jesus, even though His miracles proved that He was the promised Messiah.
Vs 24- God resurrected Jesus from the dead.
Vss 25- 28- Peter quotes David’s prophecy concerning the resurrection from Psalms 16.
Vss 29-35- Gives the reason why this resurrection prophecy did not apply to David, but did apply to Jesus.
2. When you boil Peter’s sermon down to its irreducible minimum, this is what was said: Jesus was crucified and resurrected for your sins, just like the scripture promised. Folks, that is the Gospel!
3. Before a person can come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, they must hear the gospel! No matter how much you love them, no matter how much you want to see them saved, they will not be saved until they have heard the gospel.
4. Illus. of man in former church
• I was leading our church in soulwinning
• “You know pastor, I don’t think we ought to spend all this money on tracts and New Testaments, and I don’t think we ought to go into people’s homes and impose on them with all this Roman Road junk. We need to just live the gospel before them.”
• I had to gently tell him, “Al, people can watch you live the cleanest life in the world and never know that God came in the flesh 2000 years ago, never know that He died on a cross as our substitute, never know that on the third day He was resurrected from the dead.”
• For a person to come to faith in Christ, someone has to communicate the Gospel to them.
5. This is a common theme in the book of Acts:
In Acts 8, an Ethiopian comes all the way to Jerusalem to find the way to God. God had to send Phillip out into the desert to explain the Gospel to him so that he could be saved.
In Acts 10, there was a gentile named Cornelius who wanted to know God in a personal way. God had to send Peter to preach the gospel to him before Cornelius could be saved.
6. What does this mean for the church? Since people cannot be saved until they have heard the gospel, we need to get the gospel out in as many different places and in as many different ways as possible!
• Need to saturate our town with gospel tracts.
• Every Sunday School class needs to be a place where the gospel is regularly explained.
• Every special event we sponsor needs to include a time for explaining the gospel.
• Evangelistic visitation where we sit down with individuals to explain the gospel.
II. YOU CANNOT BE SAVED UNTIL YOU ARE CONVICTED BY THE SPIRIT
1. See vs 37. The KJV says, “they were pricked in their heart…” The NKJV is a little better when it says, “they were cut to the heart…” The word is "katanugaysan"and literally means to stab or to pierce.
2. The Holy Spirit was convicting them in such a powerful way that, spiritually speaking, it was like being stabbed in the heart!
3. Illus. of Susan and quarter
• My girlfriend in 2nd grade dropped a quarter, and I covered it with my foot.
• When I went to bed that night, I felt different inside. I felt dirty. I had heard our Methodist pastor, Brother Stafford, preach about sin and what happened to unforgiven sinners.