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Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 83

The Advent Part 75

Acts 2:40, “And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, ‘saying, ‘be saved from this perverse generation.’”

When God is our portion, then His Word becomes a joy to us, living in us, growing in us, and we confess His word with power and authority whenever and wherever we are given the opportunity.

Although he was an uneducated and untrained man, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Peter found the right words, and delivered them with such power that it convinced those hearing him as to the truth of salvation, and that it could be attained through none other except through Christ Jesus. Love finds the means and ways to reach its objective, because love never gives up, and it never relents.

Peter not only testified of Christ, but he also exhorted his hearers to be saved from that perverse generation. Our duty as children of God is to both testify of the goodness, mercy and saving grace of our Lord, but also exhort those to whom we are testifying to repent and be saved. To exhort is defined as urging by strong and often stirring argument, and that to which we are to exhort those to whom we speak is repentance at the foot of the cross of Christ.

Here he was, standing before an assembled crowd of devout men, some of whom had just finished mocking him and his fellow disciples, all of whom had been guilty of the murder of Christ, yet Peter is fearless in exhorting them to turn to God, and receive His Son Jesus by faith as Savior, Lord and King.

Fast forward two thousand years to those who likewise claim to be disciples of Christ, those who purport to be ambassadors of the kingdom of heaven, and although at least for now no one is threating us, or persecuting us, imprisoning us or killing us, most of us can’t be bothered to exhort anyone to turn to Christ.

‘What will people say? They’ll think me one of those weird fundamentalists who can’t talk about anything else except Jesus. I need to show them that even though I’m a Christian I can be funny, and engaging, and aware of current trends and events; I can’t just go up to them and urge them to come to Christ, that would be so embarrassing.’

It is becoming more evident with each passing day that the words Jesus spoke concerning those who would be ashamed of Him and His words are true, as is everything else Jesus has ever said. When we neglect exhorting people to come to Christ because we fear we’ll be lumped in with the peculiar people, when we neglect testifying of Christ because we fear someone might malign or otherwise defame us, we are in essence ashamed of Him and His words.

Luke 9:26, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.”

When we are silent concerning the Christ, not only are we callously watching people headed for perdition without showing the least bit of empathy or love, something we could readily do by telling them of the life and hope they can have in Jesus, there is also a penalty for our silence, and it is a steep penalty indeed. If we are ashamed of Christ and His words, He will likewise be ashamed of us when He comes in His own glory.

If we are silent concerning Christ now, if we omit exhorting people to be saved from this perverse generation now, what will we do when the household of God will essentially be muzzled? If now we are silent and ashamed of Christ and His words, what will we do when speaking the name of Jesus will be a punishable offense, and when exhorting people to repent will be seen as a hate crime?

‘But that will never happen here’ is the often heard response of those who can’t be bothered to be either hot or cold, content in their lukewarm state until God spews them out of His mouth. To that I say there are many things we thought would never happen here that are happening here.

Mark my words, the day is coming, and it is not afar off when preaching the true Christ, the Christ of the Bible, will be a punishable offense even in this nation. We have quickened our pace toward the darkness, and those who ought to be defending the truth, and upholding the righteousness of God are nowhere to be found.

The enemy has done a masterful job at distracting the children of God, he has done a masterful job at offering bits and morsels of power and influence to those who we deem our spiritual betters, all the while whispering in their ear that if they desired to hold onto the influence they’ve garnered they have to cut back on all the Jesus stuff. And so rather than testify of Christ and exhort men everywhere to be saved, we’ve watered down our message, and shifted the focus to the things of this earth.

If ever we mention Jesus it is within the context of Him being a great humanitarian, of Him feeding five thousand people with some fishes and loaves, of Him being generous or slow to anger, but as far as Him being the only way into the Kingdom of God, well, that’s just a little too controversial nowadays.

We must do the work of He who sent us while it is day; we must exhort people to be saved from this perverse generation, because God will not do for us what is incumbent of us to do ourselves. Lot had to leave Sodom in order to be saved, just as men must leave the way of death that they might walk the path of life. If we are Disciples of Christ, if we are ambassadors of the kingdom, then we must be about the Father’s business, and exhort all who would hear to be saved and reconciled unto God.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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