A Perverse Generation
Acts 2:36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" 38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. (NKJV)
We are living in a perverse generation. All you have to do is turn on your television to know this. We can learn from how the people of Israel responded to living in a perverse generation.
Perversion, sin, is everywhere in our society. Sin rules today more than at any other time in our nation’s history. This is evidenced by the legalization of abortion, the legalization of homosexual marriage, poor church attendance, Christian persecution, and sexual immorality that has never been seen before in this once great nation. Our nation is on the same path as all the other great nations in history that fell due to God’s punishment for sin.
In this passage, on Pentecost, Peter tells us how to “Be saved from this perverse generation.” On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples. That once fearful and doubting group of men all of a sudden spoke with great power from above.
Peter summarized Jesus’ three and one half years of ministry to the crowd and then finished with this passage (v. 36). The people, being “cut to the heart”, asked how they should respond (v. 37).
Peter’s answer was to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (v. 38a). The emphasis was on repentance. The verb “repent”, in the Greek, was a direct command, and the main verb in the sentence.
Whereas, the verb “be baptized”, in the Greek, was an aorist passive imperative which means that it did not have the same force as the direct command to “repent”. The difference is that repentance is our message to God but our baptism is our announcement to men that we have repented.
Repentance is two-fold. It is asking for forgiveness of our sins and vowing to God that we will turn from sin. This is how we individually should respond to our own sins, so that we can save ourselves.
Once we repent and are baptized we receive “the gift of the Holy Spirit” (v. 38b). The Holy Spirit indwells us and helps us to live a life of obedience to God. We become a new creation, changed forever. We are now controlled by God, and not our sinful lifestyle.
The Holy Spirit is available to everyone (v. 39). This is the way out of perversion, sin, the way to be "Be saved from this perverse generation" (v. 40). This is the way that “souls” are added to the kingdom of God (v. 41).
This is how we should respond to the perverse generation we live in. If our people, and our leaders in Washington, responded in this manner our nation would not be facing God’s judgment. Now, more than ever, we should pray for our leaders to repent, and make Godly decisions. And we should pray for God to heal our land.
Online Bible Commentary