Summary: At Pentecost, God engaged in a pyrotechnic display that shook the audience, and set up a wild sermon by Peter that offered a wild and unheard of invitation. What made this sermon so powerful, and why does it's message still shake the world?
The Gospel message is this:
You and I are sinners.
We deserve to go to hell.
BUT… Jesus died in our place.
He died because of our sins.
OUR SINS put Him on the cross
ILLUS: That’s offensive. And many people object to that message. The famous singer Billy Joel got upset and said: “There's a guy... nailed to a cross and dripping blood, and everyone's blaming themselves for that man's torment, but I said to myself, 'Forget it. I had no hand in that evil. I have no original sin. There's no blood of any sacred martyr on my hands. I pass on all of this."
Well, Joel CAN’T do that.
He can’t pass on this.
He’s as filled with sin as the rest of us.
His sins DID put Jesus on the cross.
But the idea of being called a sinner angered and annoyed him. He didn’t like being talked to that way. He was way too important for that.
ILLUS: There was a famous evangelist named Peter Cartwright. One day when the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson came to church the elders warned the preacher not to offend the President. You see – back in those days, the President could seriously influence a denomination and the elders of that church had no desire to have President Jackson angry at them. So, they insisted that Cartwright must not offend the President Jackson.
Cartwright got up to speak, the first words out of his mouth are these,
"I understand that President Andrew Jackson is here this morning. I have been requested to be very guarded in my remarks. Let me say this: Andrew Jackson will go to hell if doesn't repent of his sin!"
And the entire congregation gasped in shock.
This was no way to talk about the President of the United States.
After the service, Andrew Jackson met the preacher at the door - looked at him in the eye and said "Sir, if I had a regiment of men like you, I could conquer the world!"
Jackson was impressed!!!
Because he’d just heard a preacher speak the truth to him, as nobody had ever done before.
He might have been the President of the United States… but he still needed Jesus.
That’s pretty wild preaching, because that’s a pretty wild message.
But the results of that message was even wilder.
When did Peter preach this sermon? What day was it? (Pentecost)
That’s right: Pentecost. Pentecost means the 50th, because it was a special holy day observed by the Jews 50 days after the Passover. This specific Pentecost is the last one ever mentioned in
And how many people responded to Peter’s sermon?
How many repented and were baptized? (3000)
This was the LAST Pentecost ever recorded in Scripture.
If there was a last Pentecost, there had to be a first Pentecost. And the first Pentecost would have been 50 days after the first Passover.
When did Israel celebrate their FIRST Passover feast? (in Egypt before they left their slavery)
So, if Israel was leaving Egypt the day after they celebrated the first Passover… where do you think they were 50 days later? (at the Mountain of God). When they arrived at that mountain, Moses went up to receive the 10 Commandments. But when he came down he discovered that Israel had made a golden calf to worship and were apparently engaged in certain behaviors that were offensive.