“Three Thousand Converted”

Richard Thetford

In the second chapter of Acts we can read where about three thousand souls were saved! Can you believe it? Thousands of people gathered around to listen to the apostle Peter's sermon and after hearing it the Bible says "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41). Today we would be hard pressed to get three thousand souls in one place to listen to God's word, much less accept His Word and be baptized for the remission of sins!

The Coming Of The Holy Spirit

In Acts 2:1-5 we read where the Holy Spirit came in fulfillment of a promise to the apostles. It is important to note that the Spirit came "to the apostles" and did not come directly to those converted (Acts 2:6-7). These people had trouble understanding what all this was about. In fact, they were confounded because each heard in his own language (Acts 2:6). They then marveled because they who spoke (the disciples) were Galileans (Acts 2:7). These people did not even know the meaning of all this (Acts 2:12). We read about these people charging the apostles with being filled with "new wine" (Acts 2:13). At this point, the people that were gathered there on Pentecost certainly had not "received the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

Peter's Sermon

The first thing that the apostle Peter does is reply to their charge of "being filled with new wine". He proves to the people gathered there that he is as sober as one can be and then begins one of the greatest gospel sermons ever given. He lets the people know that this moment in time is one that was prophesied about years ago by the prophet Joel (Acts 2:16-21). Peter preaches to the people concerning the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. In Acts 2:23 he says: "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:". As he preaches about Jesus, he makes sure that these people understand that they are responsible for crucifying the Son of God, a man without sin, because He was God in the flesh (John 1:14)! Peter goes on to proclaim Christ's supreme authority. Notice what he said in verse 36: "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Peter preached a powerful sermon that day, a sermon that let everyone know that they had killed Jesus Christ, the one who came to give them life!

The Effects Of Peter's Sermon

Fortunately, these individuals realized that they were wrong in what they did. In verse 37 it says: "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" First of all these people were touched, saddened that they killed the Son of God, and then genuinely asked "what shall we do?" It is important to note here that the Holy Spirit produced the conviction in these people, not by going directly to the sinners, but through the preaching of the gospel of Christ by the apostles.

Their Question Is Answered

To their wonderful surprise their question is answered in such a way by Peter that they realize that they only needed to fully repent, be baptized for remission of sins and then they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Know what? This same opportunity is available for us today. Jesus died for all of us and if we will let the gospel of Jesus Christ "prick" our hearts like it did those early Christians, then we too can have forgiveness of sins and newness of life! What keeps you from obeying God's truth?