THE LAST DAYS
Peter gives a sermon to the people in the midst of the miracle of the Holy Spirit dropping on the disciples. This is a very important sermon in the history of God’s plan of redemption because God through Peter explains the beginning of a new age in the world. The age of the Holy Spirit working through the church has begun and we are actually living in the last days of this world before THE last day when Jesus comes back to start the age of eternal heaven.
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.
Yesterday we ended the devotional with the people being divided and not knowing what to do in regards to the movement of the Holy Spirit. Let us focus on that first word, “but.” It will be overlooked but the emphasis is so powerful as to what is happening in the story. As a miracle is unfolding before the eyes of the crowd, we see that in the midst of the excitement and confusion a man decides to step up to give a clear understanding of what is going on. Notice how different Peter is acting compared to the Gospels! This is what the Spirit of God does to a person when they are filled with Him because where there was a lack of authority, there is now unquestionable authority in Peter’s words/posture. The Holy Spirit gives those in whom He fills the ability to stand up for the truth and boldly speak it.
TAKE AWAY: When there is a move of God will there be someone who will stand for God? May you realize that the Spirit of God in you has given you the ability to always stand for Him.
17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Peter explains the situation as a fulfillment of a prophecy that Joel gave (Joel 2:28-32). Peter is saying that the people are witnessing the last days and that though the final day has not come yet, the Holy Spirit started the process of the end. I think the trap the church falls into quite often is the failure to understand that the countdown process has started two thousand years ago and that we are drawing closer and closer to the end! We may or may not have the luxury of time till Jesus comes back and that God is on His way! In the midst of the day-to-day routine are we being mindful of the age we are living in where God is fast approaching to restore all things?
In this prophecy we see key signs that we are indeed living in the end times.
In the Old Testament, only a special few people were able to do such things as prophesy as the Holy Spirit would come upon a particular person for a short-period of time to carry out God’s specific will. After the task was finished the Spirit will leave but in end-times, the Spirit of God is poured out on everyone that calls upon the name of Jesus as LORD and Savior. As the Spirit is poured out on everyone, everyone has the responsibility to carry out God’s will to spread His kingdom and all will have the ability to do it! The ability to hear God and proclaim God is given to all members of the church and the major difference is that when the task is done, the Spirit does not leave but will remain in eternal relationship with the believer!
Verses 19-20 are things that are yet to come on the final day of this age when Jesus comes back but in the meantime we as the Spirit filled church must carry out the task of making Jesus known to all people! Every member of the church now has what only a select few had in the OT, may you be honored by that fact and inspired to continue the mission of fishing for people.
TAKE AWAY: We are living in the end times, therefore as you and I are Spirit filled people, may we use that new anointing to spread the Kingdom of God by proclaiming Jesus as LORD and Savior!
23 this Jesus,[c] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
Peter calls out the sins of the people and doesn’t sugar coat it! Being exposed to your own sin sucks but it is necessary. The Gospel makes aware of our sin to get rid of it. In the last days that we live in, sin will try to hide or remain in the lives of people but the light of God exposes it so that it can be dealt with. We as God’s people must constantly expose our sin to God and trusted people within our community so that we may let go of the very thing that separated us from God and life. The first step of eradicating sin is exposing it and the way we expose it is through the confession that leads to the understanding that if I am in Christ I am forgiven forever but must make the effort as well to separate myself from sin forever through His grace.
TAKE AWAY: Exposure of sin is for the deliverance from sin. Hiding it or excusing it will only give it power to oppress you and those around you.
25 For David says concerning him,
“‘I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
my flesh also will dwell in hope.
27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
In verse twenty-five, David proclaims that God is always with Him and that the result of God’s presence in His life are the following: glad heart, rejoicing, and hope. David understood the power of presence and in God’s redemptive plan to rescue the world from sin. The realization for those who receive Jesus Christ was how foolish it was for them to forfeit God’s presence for counterfeit joys.
David proclaims that in God’s presence is where he understood what life was truly about and that God does not abandon His people. Peter tells the crowd from this Psalm that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was foretold through verse twenty-seven. Peter was saying that death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was the hope of the Old Testament being fulfilled! That all that the OT talked about and was looking for was found in Jesus Christ!
When you see Jesus not on the cross alone but in His resurrection and glory, we see and find that all of our hopes and desires are found in Him and that everything else pales in comparison to Him!
TAKE AWAY: All of our hopes and desires are found in the presence of God.