©Jeanne E Webster
The apostle John announced in his gospel to the early churches this startling declaration:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Did the ears prick when John first preached these words? Were the spirits convicted? Yes, many came to the Lord and received a greater hope of eternal salvation. Yet there remained many who did not hear, rather they stopped up their ears as they sought after the things of darkness.
After witnessing a supernatural healing of a lame man, the Jews gathered in amazement around Peter and John, ready to declare them gods. Peter used this event to present the need for repentance and the presence of the one true God.
Acts 4:12-26 “You men of Israel, why marvel at this? Why look on us so earnestly, as though we made this man to walk by our own power or holiness? The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate even though he had decided to release Him.
You denied the Holy and Just One and desired a murderer to be granted to you instead. You killed the Prince of life whom God raised from the dead; we witnessed this.
This man who was healed through faith in His name made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, his faith in Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. Now, brethren, I know you did this through ignorance, and your rulers did the same. God fulfilled those things He showed by the mouth of all His prophets in times past, that Christ should suffer.
Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. He shall send Jesus Christ who was preached to you, whom heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God spoke by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.
For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘A PROPHET SHALL THE LORD YOUR GOD RAISE UP TO YOU OF YOUR BRETHREN, LIKE ME. LISTEN TO WHATEVER HE HAS TO SAY TO YOU, FOR IT SHALL COME TO PASS THAT EVERY SOUL WHICH WILL NOT HEAR THAT PROPHET SHALL BE DESTROYED FROM AMONG THE PEOPLE.’
Yes, all the prophets from Samuel and those that came after him have likewise foretold of these days. You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant, which God made with our fathers.
God thus spoke to Abraham, ‘In thy seed shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed.’ Unto you first, having raised up His Son Jesus, God sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”
DO YOU HEAR ME NOW?!