What Shall We Do?
A Sermon on Acts 2:37-40
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” (ESV)
The great need for every person living on earth is not for the world to be made a better place, but for their souls to be saved from eternal destruction. Working from Acts 2:37-40, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says this is why the Gospel is first and foremost a call to personal salvation and repentance. For when the apostles and Jesus Christ preached, they did not do so before nations and governments, but before individual people. They spoke of the judgment that each man must endure in the final days because of his sins, and the only way to escape this judgment was repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. This is not to deny the importance of working to make the world a better place through charity and the like, but it does mean that the primary application of the Gospel is to individual salvation. While some may claim that this concern with personal salvation is narrow-sighted and selfish, nevertheless, the Bible presents the greatest need for men as salvation. And salvation is necessarily a matter of individuals, not nations and countries. The church and Christians must be focused in their proclamation of the Gospel so that it does not become another message of social reform, but it is the power of salvation to all who believe.