By Carol R. Lumpkin
During the personal ministry of Jesus a great deal of his teaching was done with the use of questions. It is also interesting to observe that the enemies of Jesus often tried to trap Him by asking questions. Today many profitable religious discussions are engaged in with the use of questions.
One of the greatest questions ever asked by man was, “Men, and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). The story leading up to this question should show why the question was asked. There were Jews, devout men, out of every nation in Jerusalem when the day of Pentecost came. These men were devoted to the Law of Moses, thus believed in God. The apostles received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, after Jesus had returned to heaven. The Jews were able to hear in their own language the message that Peter presented.
Peter was the apostle selected by the Lord to open the door of the kingdom (church) of God to the Jews (Matt. 16:18-19). Peter delivered his discourse to the Jews, telling them of their sin in having put Jesus to death. This message was so effective that it cut the hearts of the Jews, leading them to ask the question, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Observe please that the Jews were already believers in God, and after hearing Peter preach Christ to them, became believers in Christ. These believers then had the right to become children of God (Jn. 1:12). Desiring to be children of God, they asked what they must do to be saved.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). The Jews were required to: (1) repent of their sins; and (2) be baptized. This was to be done in the name of Jesus Christ (by the authority of Christ). Those that believed, when they were penitent and were baptized, would (1) receive remission of sins and (2) receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Observe, remission of sins and gift of Holy Spirit would not be received until they had repented and were baptized.
“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). “Gladly receiving” is equivalent to saying, “those who repented of their sins and were baptized.” The 3000 who gladly received the word became Christians and the Lord added them to the church (Acts 2:47).
Some people (all should) will take the time to give thought and consideration to what they must do to be saved. God has promised to save each person who will obey Him as the Jews did on Pentecost.
There are many religious people who have not done what the gospel requires of them to be saved. When Acts chapter two is read and understood, then obeyed: the lost can be saved as the Jews were. My friend, the end of time and the judgment to follow are coming; let us not be found wanting (2 Cor. 6:2).
Truth Magazine XIX: 14, p. 213
February 13, 1975