“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:41 NKJV). Did you catch that? Those who heard Peter’s message gladly received his word and were baptized! No arguing. No doubting. No denying. And no stalling. They were glad to hear the good news. These sinners realized their sins had crucified the Son of God, and they, like we were sinners condemned to die.
In Acts 2:37 the crowd heard the gospel of Christ preached and was pricked in their hearts and asked Peter what they should do. In verse 38 Peter states, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
As one reads the text of Acts 2 Peter started preaching where the people were and took them to Christ. Too often in our evangelism we start at baptism and end at baptism. When we are done no one is glad and no one is baptized. If we want the responses that Peter had, we must preach what Peter and the Apostles preached, the Gospel, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and then teach them why baptism is so essential.
Looking at Acts 2, Peter shared the Gospel with a lost people, and in doing so the message broke their hearts. No one who honestly grasps the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ can go away with dry eyes and a hardened heart. So, it is true with us over 2000 years removed from the resurrection of Christ, we must share the gospel of Christ and in doing so we will break hearts. A heart when it is broken searches to be healed. Healing for a pricked heart can only come from the good news of the cross.
Mark T. Tonkery
Norval Park church of Christ