Reading Acts 2:22-39
Text verse 21
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved."
[a] In our complicated world, a simple Gospel is not appreciated!
[b] I have heard people coming out of a gospel meeting saying, "I've heard it all before. I didn't hear anything new!"
[c] When we are in love with the Christ of the Gospel -
When we are convinced of the POWER OF THE GOSPEL -
When we are desperate to see people saved from the pit of Hell through the preaching of the Gospel -
THEN WE WILL NOT WANT ANYTHING NEW!! WE WILL WANT TO STICK TO THE TRIED AND TESTED FORMULA!
[d] When people's ears are itching for something NEW, and DIFFERENT, for something they HAVEN'T HEARD BEFORE, therein so often lies the
reason for half empty churches, and some who do attend having even more empty hearts!
[e] For many years there has been a radio broadcast called "BACK TO THE BIBLE!" Many of you have read the daily readings they produce.
[f] EVERY CHRISTIAN MUST GET BACK TO THE BIBLE! WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO CHANGE THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL!! IT QUITE SIMPLY IS NOT OURS TO CHANGE!!
[g] The effectiveness of the message preached on the first Whitsuntide, speaks for itself - 3000 PEOPLE FOUND THE LORD!
[h] So what exactly was this message?
[i] It can be summed up in verse 21 which we shall take as our text!
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved."
[a] Whosoever - the UNIVERSIALITY of the Gospel.
[b] Stop in your thinking just now. Concentrate on the worst sinner you have ever met or even heard about!!
I mentioned previously, how a short time ago, I was in the Peterhead Prison, visiting a psychopath, who has committed multiple murders – and appears to be quite proud of the rather questionable prestige associated with it, and the fact that he has three permanent guards which are responsible for him alone 24 hours a day.
COULD GOD SAVE HIM?
Then let the miracle of the Gospel echo in your heart - IT INCLUDES HIM TOO!! THIS GOSPEL IS EXTENDED EVEN TO SUCH AS THEM!
[c] The Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15, looks at what he was prior to conversion, and views himself as THE CHIEF OF SINNERS!
[d] He is making the point that if God could save the CHIEF of sinners then there was NO-ONE excluded from God's plan of Salvation!
I was reading about a man who lived on a small island, in a tiny community whose only means of getting back and forwards to the mainland was by means of a little rowing boat.
The problem was that due to some rough seas the small boat broke it's moorings, and drifted far from shore!
The strongest swimmer on the island decided to brave the danger and try to swim out to the little craft and save it! So he quickly made himself ready and dived into the churning waters!
The further he swam, the further the boat seemed to drift away, until he got into difficulties, and to the horror of those watching on the shore, he threw up his arms in panic, shouting for someone to help. But as upset as they all were, there was nothing they could do, except cry in anguish.
Suddenly a fishing boat appeared around the headland, attracted by the shouts of the drowning man, and they raced as quickly as possible to his aid!
They got there just in time, and dragged him from the water, into the safety of the fishing boat, and he was saved!
[b] Had he not cried out, they would not have heard his shouts, and he would have perished!
[c] The picture the Bible gives is of the sinner perishing and about to be lost, in the tempestuous sea of sin..
[d] They must call out to the Lord in order to be rescued!
[e] If they do not call, then they cannot blame anyone else for their lack of relationship with God, and the fact that they will finally perish!
[f] We can take a square look at ourselves in the mirror, and say, "THE BUCK STOPS HERE! NO ONE CAN DO IT FOR ME! IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY ALONE!
[g] God has done everything possible in order to provide salvation - BUT WE MUST RESPOND!
[a] HERE WE SEE THE PERSONALITY OF THE GOSPEL!
In Acts 4:12, Peter says, "There is none other name under heaven, given amongst men, whereby we must be saved!"
[b] There are many today, who try and have a CHRISTLESS SALVATION!
[c] Some have a man-made salvation made up of their own good works, which God says in Isaiah 64:6, is as filthy rags in His sight!
[d] Others try and find salvation in some religion which does not accept the divinity of Christ. They do not accept Him as the Son of God, and therefore do not accept His Sacrifice for sin, or even His present existence to save them from their sins!
[a] In this verse we see the absolute CERTAINTY of the Gospel!!
[b] Forgive me for a moment If I repeat something I may have mentioned before, the man who heard my testimony in a London So-ho open-air, and told me in no uncertain terms that I was committing the sin of PRESUMPTION! I was presuming I was saved!! (Note for readers outside the Uk – Soho is the sleazy part of London, full of strip clubs and prostitutes.)
[c] This verse leads one to presume nothing, It states an absolute FACT! WHEN WE CALL UPON HIS NAME - QUITE SIMPLY - HE SAVES US!!
IF WE DO NOT CALL UPON HIS NAME, WE ARE NOT SAVED!!
[d] Our Gospel is not a negative thing! On the contrary IT IS THE MOST POSITIVE, DEPENDABLE, AND TRUSTWORTHY MESSAGE IN THE WORLD.
[e] And it has been proved over and over again in the lives of countless multitudes down through the years!!
[f] People can argue about our doctrine, or our way of life, if they wish, but they cannot argue about our personal experience of God!
[g] Often I have had people try to argue me out of my faith, but like Paul, I could always say, as he did in Romans 8 " I AM PERSUADED!"
[h] It's a bit like someone trying to tell me that my wife doesn't exist! SHE IS REAL, AND A BIG PART OF MY LIFE - SO IS THE LORD JESUS!!
[i] Because I have fulfilled my part, the condition laid down in that verse, to call upon the name of the Lord, GOD HAS FULFILLED HIS PART OF
THE BARGAIN - I AM SAVED !!
[j] When the Lord is allowed to do a work in our lives, He does it properly!!
A story is told of an old Fijian Chief, and an unbeliever who was visiting the Fiji islands.
The man said to the chief, "You are a great chief and it is really a pity that you have been so foolish as to listen to the missionaries who only want to get rich among you. No one nowadays would believe in that old book which is called the Bible: neither do men listen to that story about Jesus Christ; people know better now, and I am sorry for you that you have been foolish."
When he said that, the old chief's eyes flashed, and he said, "Do you see that native oven over yonder? In that oven was roasted the human bodies for our great feasts. If it had not been for those good missionaries, for that old book, and the great love of Jesus Christ which has changed us from savages into God's children, you would never leave this spot! You have to thank God for the Gospel, otherwise you would be killed and roasted in yonder oven, and we would feast on your body in no time. (Notes Quotes and Anecdotes - no 743)
[b] The life-changing message of the Gospel is unchangeable, for He Who is the centre of that message, is "the same yesterday, today and for ever!!"
[c] When you read Scripture, and the wonderful things which happened, don't divorce it from today!
[d] God is faithful! Remember what Paul says in Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto Salvation to every one that believeth!"
[e] That is the Gospel, dear friends, entrusted to you and me.
Let us bear wisely that trust!
WITNESS 378 (SHEET)