Things are continuing to go well with the live classes on the book of Acts here in Austin. Recently we did Acts chapter 2; boy, that chapter can shake you up! It certainly did for the ones who were there in Jerusalem 2000 years ago, to say the least. Like I said in the class on Luke 24 and Acts 1, you just wish someone with a good understanding of the things of the Lord could do a really good movie of these things.
Well, I’m tempted to tell you the whole story of Acts 2 right here but perhaps you know it already. As I did with the first blog post on these classes on the book of Acts, I’ve made an edited audio recording of the Acts 2 class and it can be heard here. It’s 50 minutes long.
In our class recently, there were so many fundamental, exceedingly important subjects that came up in the class that we had to make a real effort to keep going back to the text in the chapter. Basically, Peter the apostle (along with around 120 people who were in the upper room in Jerusalem) were there on the morning of Pentecost, 50 days after the Lord’s crucifixion. Suddenly they were very dramatically all filled with the Holy Spirit and were even speaking in unknown tongues and languages that they themselves didn’t know how to speak. This attracted a huge crowd from among the Jewish pilgrims who’d come to Jerusalem from all over for the feast of Pentecost.
Peter then stood up and preached a riveting sermon to the huge crowd, using prophecies from the Old Testament which all the Jews knew, plus the testimony of Peter and the others that God had raised Jesus from the dead there in Jerusalem just weeks before.
The result was that multitudes of the Jewish pilgrims asked Peter and the others, “What must we do?” (Acts 2:37) To which Peter said, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)
And the result? Three…thousand…souls got saved right then! (Acts 2:41)
It’s just an incredible chapter and basically it’s the beginning of the Christian era that so many of us are a part of. But in our Bible study we could hardly read the chapter for all the questions that kept coming up. That’s one of the really nice things about having these home church Bible studies: people can ask questing and get involved.
If you go to church on Sunday, probably you don’t get involved. You don’t raise your hand while the preacher is preaching, that just really isn’t done. Maybe it might work out that your church will have some kind of adult Sunday school before or after the church service. But those can often be pretty stuffy or just so social and secular that there’s really nothing spiritual about them at all. I wrote about my experience with this in a blog post called “Hawks and Doves”, about my sad experiences in visiting a large evangelical church in Houston.
But in our Acts chapter 2 class, we just were bouncing from one subject to the other. For example,
“Do you have to receive the Holy Ghost to be saved?” “How do you know if you have the Holy Ghost?” “Is speaking in tongues required to be saved?”
(Don’t laugh; in some congregations and even denominations, a failure to speak in tongues is an indication that your salvation and future place in heaven is very questionable.)
“And how about water baptisms? Is that essential?” “And by the way, were all those people in Acts chapter 2 Communists?!”
It says they lived together and shared all things so it could seem that way.
As you can probably relate to, almost everyone had some very serious questions about all this and we took time to go over these points at least to some degree. But the very fact that we friends could meet together on a week night and really delve into the Word was one of the best things of all. Think of all the millions of Christians who may go to some church or assembly once a week but never really get into the Word deeply. So many are seldom in an atmosphere where they can talk freely about questions they have and can bring up things on their heart that can be discussed among friends from a Biblical viewpoint.
So I’m just really happy for these classes that are going on now and I hope you’ll find that the Acts chapter 2 audio recording can be some kind of blessing to you as well. Join with us in a time of feeding on the Word, even if you’re thousands of miles away. “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the Word of His Grace, which is able to build you up, and give you an inheritance…” Acts 20:32