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Peter Speaks to the Onlookers April 29, 2016

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Acts 3:11-26.

Summary: In this passage, many astonished Jews gathered around Peter, John and the beggar whom they had just healed. Peter swiftly glorified God in light of this miracle, and he used this opportunity to preach the Gospel message to them – including the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ. He then called them to repent of their sins and anticipate the Second Coming of Christ. To spur them in this regard, he asserted that in their cherished Old Testament, God had foretold the First Coming of Christ – and stressed the necessity of obedience to Him – through many prophets, including:

Thoughts: We see that the initial presentations of the Gospel message in the early church relied on the Old Testament; this was a sensible strategy in that Peter wanted to prove to Jews that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ. One could argue that preaching the Gospel to Jews was relatively simple, as they already accepted the truth of the God of the Old Testament and His promise of the Messiah; they only needed to be convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. Yet many modern-day unbelievers who lack a Jewish background reject the truth of the God of the Old Testament. While this can be discouraging for believers as we aim to carry out the Great Commission, we can draw strength from the forthcoming anecdotes in this book – where the Gospel is successfully preached to many Gentiles.

We also see that all of the Old Testament prophets eagerly anticipated the arrival of the Messiah as the One who would redeem Israel. They likely mulled over the following questions:

  • when would the Messiah be born?
  • where would the Messiah be born?
  • what would be the (earthly) name of the Messiah?
  • how would the Messiah redeem Israel?

While these prophets had to anticipate the arrival of the Messiah, modern-day believers are blessed in that we can look back to that historical moment. Yet we join these prophets in our anticipation of His (Second) Coming; thus, we ponder the following questions:

  • when will Jesus Christ return?
  • will Jesus Christ return at the Mount of Olives?
  • when Jesus Christ returns, what will I be doing?
  • when Jesus Christ returns, will He approve of me?

While we long for the answers to these questions, we must continue to trust in God – as only He knows the hour of the Second Coming.

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