As the Apostle Peter guides those who are seeking God’s salvation at the conclusion of his Pentecost Day sermon, he urges an immediate response.
“With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’
Inactivity is not an option. This preacher is not content with information, he desires God-centred transformation in the lives of every one of his hearers.
Warning & Pleading
Luke does not provide all the details of these ‘many words’ but stresses the call to action by Peter. Those in great danger need warning.
Typically we’ve all experienced an assortment of warnings throughout our lives. Police warn of road conditions and road closures. Weather prognosticators issue storm warnings and watches as they track meteorological patterns. Parents and teachers warn of deadlines or dangers awaiting children or students in coming days, weeks or years.
Preachers need to alert their hearers to impending dangers. One’s views of the urgency of the hour, the condition of the human heart and the reality of facing God’s judgment shapes the ‘many other words’ of any preacher.
Luke selects one pointed exhortation and preserves it for our instruction.
‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’
The Bible elsewhere stresses the centrality of God’s work in the marvelous act of salvation. Noone can rescue themselves from spiritual danger. Salvation is of the LORD. But the seeking sinner should not be lulled into spiritual apathy. He or she should not assume that responding to the gospel is a decision to be postponed. ‘Now is the accepted time. Now is the day of salvation.’
Escape while you have opportunity. Run while you can. Break off any links to the culture of this world and ask God this moment to rescue you, to bring you into the Kingdom of His Son.
As I pondered Peter’s assessment of the 1st century as being ‘corrupt,’ I wondered how he would describe the 21st? We keep inventing ways of doing evil and insist on our rights as rebels rather than submitting to the will and ways of God.
May God open our eyes to the spiritual realities of our era and fill us with a gospel-centred urgency as we interact with others. I close with a chorus I’ve heard sung. May it be our prayer today and every day!
Lead me to some soul today,
O teach me, Lord, just what to say;
Friends of mine are lost in sin,
And cannot find their way.
Few there are who seem to care,
And few there are who pray;
Melt my heart, and fill my life,
Give me one soul today.