What The World Needs Are Broken Hearts

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37)

What The World Needs Are Broken Hearts

Devout Jews from every nation came together in Jerusalem as they had done for centuries. The Day of Pentecost was one of three feasts requiring an annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem. This feast was during the barley harvest, lasting until the end of March in the lower Jordan Valley to the beginning of May in the mountains. It was also called the Feast of Harvest. Seven weeks after the death of Jesus, the city of Jerusalem was filled with pilgrims from every nation under heaven. When the Holy Spirit came upon the twelve apostles with a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind filling the whole house, a large crowd gathered to see the spectacle. They were amazed to hear the Galileans speaking various languages and preaching about a risen Christ.

The apostle Peter took center stage, explaining what was happening fulfilled the prophecy of Joel. He continued to explain that Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God by miracles, wonders, and signs, was the promised Messiah whom God raised up to sit at the right hand of the Lord. Peter explained how David had foretold the coming of Christ. He affirmed that God had made Jesus both Lord and Christ. The multitude responded to the powerful message from the apostle Peter. Luke records that the people, hearing these words, were cut to the heart and begged Peter to tell them what to do to be saved. They had killed the Prince of Life, the Holy One, and the Just One.

Peter tells the multitude to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins. The promise of the Holy Spirit was given to all who obeyed the word of the Lord. On that day, three thousand people were baptized for the remission of their sins. They gladly received the words of the apostles and obeyed. And they continued to devote themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and fellowship, and the Lord’s Supper, and to prayer. The early church had begun with three thousand open-hearted, receptive, excited, and devoted people.

What makes the story of Pentecost so remarkable is the open hearts of those who obeyed. Three thousand seems a large number, and while it is an incredible crowd to begin the church, many more thousands did not obey. What made these saints special was the kind of heart they had. Many people had a hard heart on that day, refusing to submit to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The open-hearted Jews readily accepted the truth as the word of God. There was no argument or dissent in the simple sermon of Peter. They were cut to the heart when they realized they had killed the Son of God. There was no effort to rest on their religion as a reason to refuse the invitation of Peter. No one argued salvation by faith only or grace alone. When the three thousand were baptized, they were immersed; not sprinkled or poured and misted with water.

On the Day of Pentecost, three thousand open hearts obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ without delay. That same sermon is preached today, and people reject it as salvation by works. Hearts are not as tender as they were on the Day of Pentecost. The invitation of Jesus is given, and few respond. It is not because the gospel has been diminished, but the hearts of the people have grown hard. False doctrines like “just accept Christ as your personal Savior” are readily accepted because the heart is hardened to truth. Those devout Jews two thousand years ago had a heart that changed the world. What the world needs now is a heart willing to listen to the word of God and respond. When will men stop arguing with God? It is a no-win situation. The word of the Lord remains the same. “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” What will your heart do with this?

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