Summary: Now the vital issue of concern to all of us is: What Act or Activity Follows the SpokenWord? Following the Public Proclamation of the Lecture or Lesson, the Exposition or Exegesis, or the Sermon or Message, the question is: What Happens?
I submit to us that the Preaching of the Gospel, the Teaching of the Text,the Sounding of the Script,Should Effect a Host of Heavenly Activity Among the Hearers of the Word! Yet, I hasten to add this appendage, the Ideal is seldom Realized in the Realm of Our Here and Now.
A Host of Heavenly Activity Should Follow the Effective Enunciation of Eternal Truths, however, in a realistic sense, A Horde of Hellish Antagonism is most often triggered. Because a gathering of men and women, resembling holy iciles, sit aloof, as if the Word has no relevance or applicability to them. But, of course it has relevance to that rank sinner over there, or to those folk seated back there; but, oh no!, not to them! Or perhaps, more often than not, some have become so intoxicatedly angry that they would bite and gnaw on the back of the pew in front of them, provided the act would not be viewed and construed as a sign of demon possession!
Now the vital issue of concern to all of us is: What Act or Activity Follows the SpokenWord? Following the Public Proclamation of the Lecture or Lesson, the Exposition or Exegesis, or the Sermon or Message, the question is: What Happens?
Is there a protracted period of prescribed silence, in which heads are bowed and eyes are closed in pretended prayer? Or does the termination of the oral discourse signal the start of orchestrated key rattling, feet shuffling and the assuming of the ready-to-dismiss position? Does it communicate to a few weary travellers the end of restful sleep and slumber? Does the message’s conclusion usher in the beginning of a muscical concert by the choir and others who wish to perform; or, does it signal the commencement of the period of socializing among the congregants? Perhaps, it signals the formation of a line of well-wishers and congratulators, who crowd the podium to pay their respects or shake the preacher’s hand? Maybe, in many quarters of Christendom, One or Many of those Responsive Activities Follow the Spoken Word.
But the issue is: What Should Happen After the Gospel Has Been Promulgated? Or, What Is God’s Modus Operandi(Method of Operating) once the Message Is Over? After the Utterance of the Lecture, after the Imparting of the Lesson, following the Divulging of the Message, What Really Should be Happening?
Our Target Text Sequences Eight(8) Activities that Followed Peter’s Discourse. I have conveniently captioned them in the repetition of the consonant sound of the letter "C". They are C- Words. They all begin with the Letter "C."
Lucas, or Luke the General Practioner says in Verse 37, "Now When," or "After they heard" there Followed A Conviction that surfaced in A Conversation.
1. Therefore, First of all, Let’s Consider This Conviction.
Now you need to know that this Past Tense Verb translated as "were pricked" in Verse 37, is found in no other place in the NT but right here in our Text. So it needs some Clarification. The Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, had penetrated their hearts or minds so thoroughly that it caused Anxiety to arise from the Awareness of Their Guilt. For the Holy Spirit, thru Peter, had accused them of taking(in Verse 23) with wicked hands Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God, who was sinless and guiltless, and crucifying and slaying Him. From Hearing the Word, they discovered Their Guilt. And with this guilt also came Distress of Mind over the Anticipated Results of their sin. They were Convinced beyond any shadow of doubt that they were guilty of the blood of a righteous, holy, just and innocent Man, Christ Jesus. Oh yes, Jesus was right when He said: "And when He(Holy Spirit) is come, He will convict the world of sin because they believe not on Me, and of righteousness because I go to My Father."
And so, This Conviction manifested itself in A Conversation which they initiated. In Verse 37, they asked Peter and the Eleven Standing Apostles, "Men and brethren, What Shall We Do?" In other words, tell us what act we can perform in the very near future, perhaps within the next five minutes? Seeing that we are now aware of our guilt, and of the subsequent act of God in judgment, tell us, brethren, what act shall we perform to appease the wrath of God?
Yes, Conviction that issues in the question "What shall we do? ought to be Our First Response Following the Message; for surely, something has been pointed out in the Message of which each of us Has Fallen Short! Therefore, following the Message, what each of us need to be asking ourselves is: What shall I do with My Guilt? What shall I do with My Distress of Mind? What shall I do with My Sin-Problem? This must become a time of yielding ourselves to the perfect ministry of the Holy Spirit, in order that He may point out and correct or clarify whatever is wrong or not understood. I would that we would use the moments following the Message in Yielded Stillness to the Ministry of the Spirit of God.