Acts 2:19-23 – I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
If people have a problem with ‘in your face’ preaching, then they are going to have a problem with Peter’s sermon – and pretty much every other sermon in the book of Acts. No ‘skirting round the houses’ here, trying to ingratiate himself with the crowd; instead, Peter preaches in such a way that gets straight to the point. His desire of course is to elicit a response. Indeed, whereas most preachers tend to draw the guilt upon themselves as well as their hearers, and thereby tone down the force, Peter simply points the finger and says ‘You’ when he wants to level charges for the crucifixion. Talk about bold! And yet, even here, in the handing over of Jesus to wicked men, we see the sovereignty of God. The passion story is a tale of betrayal. But in the hands of God it becomes a gospel of grace.
Prayer: Lord, may your preachers be ever bold, but may there always be a gospel song in the heart of their words. Amen.