Summary: Dealing with a number of issues at EBC led me to a series by Pastor Jerry Shirley which God has graciously allowed me to revise and use to speak to our congregation.

Acts 3:11-21

Last week we looked at the first part of Peter’s sermon and if you remember he told the people that they had desired a murdered, they had denied the Lord and they must decide to repent!

In the second part of his sermon Peter makes 2 promises, if they will repent:

Look at verses 19-20

1. Their sins will be blotted out

2. Jesus will return and set up His earthly kingdom

The 2nd half of this 2nd sermon has 3 points, as did the first part. These points are the promises, the prophets, and the persecutions.

We’ll only have time to examine the promises this morning…

Don’t forget that Peter’s entire audience was Jewish and they were thoroughly familiar with the Old Testament therefore, Peter uses the Old Testament and preaches Christ to them!

Someone might say “but, Jesus isn’t in the Old Testament. BUT He is…He’s on every page!

In Gen. 3:15 the seed of the woman would come and crush the head of the serpent—that’s Jesus!

In Leviticus they were commanded to take male lambs with no spot or blemish and sacrifice them on the altar... 1Peter 1:19 NKJV - 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

There are many other passages…

Jesus Christ is found from Genesis to Revelation because the entire Bible is about Him!

Peter, here in Acts 3, shares some promises with the people: Look at verse 19 where Peter tells them “Your sins will be blotted out.”

What does “blotted out” mean? It means to wipe away, to eliminate, erase.

Did you know that this promise applies to you today? If you repent of your sins, the Word of God promises that you can have every last sin blotted out!

My question today would be; why keep running?

Jonah tried to run from his sin but the only thing he proved is that you can’t run fast enough or far enough to hide from your sins.

King David proved we can try but we can’t hide our sins.

Ananias and Sapphira lost their lives because they tried to lie their way out of their sins.

We can’t hide FROM our sin, we can’t HIDE our sin and we can’t LIE our way out of our sin.

God will NOT allow even the smallest sin into heaven and this is where our problem starts.

What can we do with our sin? We can’t run from them, we can’t hide them and we can’t lie our way out of them!

This is one question that many try to avoid today. It’s a question we don’t like to face.

It’s a question that many pulpits have stopped asking BUT I must ask it from THIS pulpit on THIS day!

What will you do about your sin!?

When I die my hunting stuff goes to Dalton, my fishing stuff to Aidin. In other words we make preparations and our heads are filled with questions. But the reality is that in less than 5 seconds after we die the only question that will matter, the only question God will ask you is; “What did you do with your sin?”

I saw this old photo of a woman with distress on her face. [Point to the screen] I wondered what she is worried about. Was it a financial crisis? Was it a sick or maybe dying husband or child?

You know those things are very important to each of us and I’m not minimizing any of the stressful situations you may face in the life; but when this life is over, the only thing that matters for you/me is, what did I do about my sin; what did you do about your sin?!

Peter didn’t say, repent, and you’ll be healthy and wealthy, as many of the prosperity preachers of our day promise. They don’t even mention repentance… What Peter promised was something better than that!

He promised that you can have your sins blotted out…erased!

I don’t know about you but I think that’s great news!

As a minister of the gospel, I can and do make you that same promise right now. This promise is not based on my own authority but on the authority of God’s Word! Repent and your sin WILL BE blotted out

There are many who are hungry for something that the world can’t offer. They know it’s found in Jesus but they believe they need to be perfect in order to be accepted by Him. How many of you are hungry for something better? Well I found a place that serves up a meal that you won’t believe!

I shook my head in disbelief. This couldn’t be the right place. After all, I couldn’t possibly be welcome here. I had been given an invitation several times, by several different people, and had finally decided to see what this place was all about. But, this just couldn’t be the right place. Quickly, I glanced down at the invitation that I clutched in my hand. I scanned past the words, "Come as you are. No jacket required." and found the location. Yes, I was at the right place. I peered through the window again and saw a room of people whose faces seemed to glow with joy. All were neatly dressed, adorned in fine garments and appeared strangely clean as they dined at this exquisite restaurant.

Ashamed, I looked down at my own tattered and torn clothing, covered in stains. I was dirty, in fact, filthy. A foul smell seemed to consume me and I couldn’t shake the grime that hung to my body. As I turned around to leave, the words from the invitation seemed to leap out at me..."Come as you are. No jacket required." I decided to give it a shot. Mustering up every bit of courage I could find, I opened the door to this restaurant and walked up to a man standing behind a podium. "Your name, sir?" he asked me with a smile. "Jimmy Lee," I mumbled without looking up. I thrust my hands deep into my pockets, hoping to conceal their stains. He didn’t seem to notice the filth that I was covered in and he continued, "Very good, sir. A table is reserved in your name. Would you like to be seated?" I couldn’t believe what I heard! A grin broke out on my face and I said, "Yes, of course!"

He led me to a table and, sure enough, there was a place card with my name written on it in a deep, dark red. As I browsed over a menu, I saw many delightful items listed. There were things like, "peace," "joy," "blessings," "confidence," "assurance, “hope," "love," "faith," and "mercy." I realized that this was no

ordinary restaurant!

I flipped the menu back to the front in order to see where I was ... "God’s Grace," was the name of this place!

The man returned and said, "I recommend the ’Special of the Day’. With it, you are entitled to heaping portions of everything on this menu." You’ve got to be kidding! I thought to myself. You mean, I can have ALL of this! "What is the ’Special of the Day’ I asked with excitement ringing in my voice. “Salvation,” was his reply.

"I’ll take it," I practically cried out. A sick, painful ache jerked through my stomach and tears filled my eyes.

Between my sobs I said "Mister, look at me. I’m dirty and nasty. I’m unclean and unworthy of such things. I’d love to have all of this, but, but, I just can’t afford it. Undaunted, the man smiled again. "Sir, your check has already been taken care of by that Gentleman over there," he said pointing to the front of the room. "His Name is Jesus." Turning, I saw a man whose very presence seemed to light the room. He was almost too much to look at. I found myself walking towards Him and in a shaking voice I whispered, "Sir, I’ll wash the dishes or sweep the floors or take out the trash. I’ll do anything I can do to repay you for all of this." He opened His arms and said with a smile, "Son, all of this is yours if you just come unto me.

Ask me to clean you up and I will. Ask me to take away the stains and it is done. Ask me to allow you to feast at my table and you will eat.

Here is what I want you to remember. There is a table already reserved in your name. All you must do is accept this gift that I offer you." Astonished, I fell at his feet and said, "Please, Jesus. Please clean up my life. Please change me and sit me at your table and give me this new life." Immediately, I heard the words, "It is finished." I looked down and white robes adorned my squeaky clean body. Something strange and wonderful had happened. I felt new, like a weight had been lifted and I found myself seated at His table. "The ’Special of the Day’ has been served," the Lord said to me. "Salvation is yours." We sat and talked for a great while and I so enjoyed the time that I spent with Him. He told me, me of all people, that He would like for me to

come back as often as I liked for another helping from God’s Grace. He made it clear that He wanted me to spend as much time with Him as possible. As it drew near time for me to go back outside into the "real world," He whispered to me softly, "And Lo, I am with you always." And then, He said something to me that I will never forget. He said..."My child, do you see these empty tables throughout this room?" "Yes, Lord. I see them. What do they mean?" I replied. "These are reserved tables...but the individuals whose names are on each placard have not accepted their invitations to dine. Would you be so kind as to hand out these invitations to those who have not joined us yet?" Jesus asked. "Of course," I said with excitement as I picked up the invitations." "Go ye therefore into all nations," He said as I turned to leave.

I walked into God’s Grace dirty and hungry. Stained in sin. My righteousness as filthy rags. And Jesus cleaned me up. I walked out a brand new man...robed in white, covered in His righteousness. And so, I’ll keep my promise to my Lord. I’ll go. I’ll spread the Word. I’ll share the Gospel... I’ll hand out the invitations. And I’ll start with you. Have you been to God’s Grace? There’s a table reserved in your name, and here’s your invitation... "Come as you are. No jacket required."