Summary: When Peter said these words. It cut to the hearts of those who heard. Will they cut to yours too?
Cut to the Heart
Have you ever talked to someone who just wasn’t listening. You feel as though you are talking to a wall, unmoved and uncaring. Or even worse have you been heard and then ignored. Parents, how many times have we warned our children, not to do something or they will get hurt. No sooner do the words get out of our mouths, BOOM! You’re there in time! You tell them to stop and they do not. And just as you warned, Disaster!
In this morning’s scripture, Peter proclaims the truth to the Jews. We have heard the same truth. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Acts 2:36-41 (NKJV)
36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." Thus saith the Lord, We look at the story of Christ and say, Those terrible Jews crucified Jesus! But the fact is that Jesus Died on the cross for our sins! We are responsible. He did it for us! Our sins our actions. You are not innocent! I am not innocent. Every day we sin against God and we Know it! We know the difference between right and wrong sin and righteousness, and we choose sin! When the soldiers were beating Jesus, they should have been beating us! He stepped in for our sakes. He was crucified in our place! Every time we sin we are just as responsible for His crucifixion as those who yelled crucify Him! Crucify Him! He died and suffered because of what you and I do today, tomorrow and every other day we decide to sin against God. What is the distance between us and God’s punishment for our personal sin? One man Jesus Christ! The Gospel is not about the salvation of other people. It is not about other people’s sin. It is about your sin and my sin. No separation of time or space. It is right now and right here! And if you don’t understand this or realize this, then you are lost! These are not just events of long ago they are of today!
When Peter proclaimed these words to the Jews They responded. 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
There is no separation between the Jews Peter is talking to and us. There is no separation! He is talking to us! God is talking to us! The Holy Ghost is talking to us! Hear the words! You and I are being addressed personally! Jesus is our Lord and Christ! And after He has done all this for us we still refuse to believe. We still refuse to take it personally. And if our relationship with Christ isn’t personal it doesn’t exist!
Have you heard this Word from God? If your relationship is not personal IT DOES NOT EXIST! We are not innocent by association! We are made clean through a PERSONAL relationship with Christ. And if it’s just business, or religion, or being a good person, it is NOTHING! Religion for Sunday and Business as usual on Monday just will not cut it!
In this morning’s scripture lesson, Peter has told the Jews what I have told you this morning. And they responded. What do we need to do? I pray the same words have helped you to examine the true nature of your faith. And I pray that in your spirit you are asking the same question.
38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
There is an old joke, it goes like this, How many Methodist does it take to change a light bulb? The answer is… Change, who said anything about change?
Well, Repent means change. It means change your life. It means change your priorities. Change how you see the world. It means Change your actions. It means change everything. And if your life hasn’t changed, then you have not repented.
Hear this! No repentance! No Salvation! If your faith is not reflected in your actions, then you have no faith. And that means they are reflected no matter what the human rules are. No matter what company policy may exist. No matter what laws man may or may not make. Real faith is reflected in Our actions. No action, No faith! period! We do not pull faith out and dust it off like we do the family Bible when we know the preacher is coming to visit.
These are the Words of the Lord and we need to hear them. Let your faith be real! Repent and be saved from this perverse generation!