Christian, Receiving the Gospel - How Is That Done
In my younger days I use to hear about those preachers on tv or radio who would tell their listening audience words to the effect that if they wanted to receive Jesus and salvation just to lay their hands on top the set, say certain words in the form of a prayer and presto - salvation. For all I know they may still be telling them that as I do not watch tv evangelists so called. It sounds good but was there any truth to it?
In Acts 2 just about everyone I know of or ever heard of admits that Peter preaches the first gospel sermon there ever to be preached. The text then says, "those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls." (NAS) What was his word that they received? Was it the gospel? If it was not would you be willing to stand up and shout to the world "no it was not the gospel" and go on public record? And, if not why not?
Most denominational bodies run into serious trouble with this verse for if Peter did indeed preach a gospel sermon here then to receive it the text teaches that baptism is required. They cannot accept that or are unwilling to.
The New Living Translation, a dynamic equivalence translation, puts it this way, "Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day ...". The International Standard Version translates this way, "So those who welcomed his message were baptized ... ". The New King James Version says, "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized ... ".
I guess one who does not believe that baptism is essential for remission of sins can choose his poison here. What had Peter preached? "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins ... ". (Acts 2:38 NAS)
Will one "believe" what Peter said as per the New Living Translation or will he "welcome Peter's message" as per the International Standard Version or will he "gladly receive" his message as per the New King James Version? Most denominationalists will do none of the above. Not only will they not receive Peter's words, words spoken by the Holy Spirit, but they are ashamed of them. You could not pay them to preach the sermon Peter did with its closing of "repent, and be baptized every of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." (Acts 2:38 KJV) They do not believe what Peter spoke, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to be true. They are not willing to receive his words.
Be all of that as it may do not be misled. God is able to say what he means to say. He is able to communicate clearly. If you gladly receive the word Peter preached (I ask again did he preach the gospel?) you will do what he by the Holy Spirit told you to do.
Please note those who did not receive the gospel were those who did not repent and were not baptized and were not added to them (the disciples) that day.
I know religion is full of emotion and emotion often overcomes the ability to think and reason correctly. We have so much invested in a false proposition we will not allow our minds to even think it could be otherwise or even consider such a thing. However, the Christian religion is based on truth, not error, and the overcoming of self and acceptance of God which means accepting what he says. You can obey Jesus by obeying the words of Peter if you will. Emotions can change over time. Truth cannot.
For those tired of hearing modern day preaching and would like to hear preaching like it use to be listen to the audio sermons of Waymon Swain.
Related Tags: christ, jesus, christian, god, salvation, gospel, believe, word of god, baptism, repent, baptized, gospel sermon, believed
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