Save yourself from this generation!
Those are the words of the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost, the birthday of the church, and they also apply to our day, as the church is about to depart from this earth. Save yourself! But how?
Peter had just received the gift of tongues and the words he spoke were heard and understood by a crowd of Jews from many nations and areas (fourteen are listed in Acts 2). They all knew of the wonderful miracles of Jesus, and that He had been crucified by wicked men seven weeks earlier at the feast of Passover.
Now, seven weeks later, they were in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost, listening to a man speaking in one language, but all hearing in their own languages! And Peter was telling them that Jesus was no longer dead, no longer in the grave! He said: ‘This Jesus hath God raised up (from the grave), whereof we (apostles) are all witnesses.’
He told them that this fulfilled prophecies of King David, made 1000 years earlier, that David would have a descendent who would triumph over death itself, whose body would not decay or stay in the grave. They all knew the Scriptures and they knew of that prophecy by King David. Peter told the Jews that Jesus was that person, the Messiah, who had risen from the dead and was seen by Peter and all the other apostles.*
When the crowd heard this, all miraculously hearing in their own languages, three thousand of them were horrified to realize that their own people had murdered the One who came to save them. Torn with anguish at what had been done, they began to ask Peter urgently: ‘What shall we do?’ Peter told the crowd of Jews: ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.’**
Three thousand believed and were baptized that very day. That was about the year 33 A.D. God in His marvellous grace has allowed time to roll on and nearly 2000 years have passed. Millions have put their faith in Jesus and have been saved. Though their bodies are still in the ground, their souls are with Him in Heaven. We are now living in what is almost certainly the final generation - the generation which will see the return of the Lord Jesus to the earth. Many of the prophecies pertaining to His return are being fulfilled before our very eyes. The signs Jesus said to watch for are here now!
Dear friends, it is time to heed Peter’s warning in our day: ‘Save yourself!’ The way is the same as it was then: believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, as prophesied in the Scriptures; that He was buried and rose again the third day, also as prophesied. These are not things that are just made up; they are not fantasies. They were prophesied over centuries and carefully written down and preserved. Only God knows the future, and only His book, the Bible, contains specific prophecies, hundreds of them. They point to Jesus, whose birth divided all history.
Peter told the Jews of his day that the only way of salvation was through trust in Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself told us: ‘Truly, truly I say to you, He that believes on Me has everlasting life.’ It is time to choose, folks. It is time to save yourself. The horrible truth is that most people will not save themselves. Jesus told us that there is a broad way and a narrow way (faith in Him), and most people would choose the broad way to destruction (Hell), because they love this evil world. They do not want to humble themselves and ask Jesus to forgive their sins. But you, dear friend, do not have to choose the broad way. You can choose the narrow way, put your absolute trust in Jesus Christ and His atoning death for your sins.
* The apostles were all martyred for their faith. They never retracted their testimonies that Jesus had risen from the dead, which they certainly would have done if they were lying. Over 500 people saw the risen Lord Jesus. The testimony of all those people in a court of law would take many days, as attorney Lee Stroebel has pointed out, and the verdict is undeniable: Jesus Christ did indeed rise from the dead!
** This is certain. If you believe those things, Jesus WILL give you the Holy Spirit. You may feel nothing, experience nothing. That is just fine. You do not have to go anywhere or plead for the Holy Spirit, and no one in the Bible ever prayed to the Holy Spirit. Just believe. Jesus does the rest. He deals with each one of us individually. Do not worry or feel bad if you have no dramatic experience. We go by faith in what Jesus promised, not by what we feel. If you believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, was buried and rose the third day, you WILL be sealed with the Holy Spirit and you WILL be saved, with a guarantee of eternal life. There are not two classes of Christians, one with the Holy Spirit and one lacking. No. ALL believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit. You do NOT have to speak in tongues either! ‘For by one Spirit we were ALL baptized into one body…and have ALL been made to drink into one Spirit.’ 1 Cor 12:13 ‘Who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a deposit.’ 2 Corinthians 1:22 If you are a believer, you HAVE eternal life, guaranteed, and you are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.