PROPOSITION: In this lesson, we will discuss the conversion of the three thousand in Acts chapter 2 and the essential ingredients to effective evangelism. This includes 1) The Presence of the Holy Spirit, 2) People of the Dispersion, 3) Prophets of the Old Testament, 4) Preachers of the Gospel, 5) Penitent of Heart, 6) Persistent in Faithfulness.
OBJECTIVE: The hearer should be familiar with the events in Acts 2 and the principles of evangelism as related to this conversion account.
AIM: To help the hearer understand more about the principles of evangelism taught in Acts 2.
1. Read: Acts 2:1-4
2. About the Text:
1) For the past 50 days, the apostles had seen the resurrected Jesus.
2) He had been with them to instruct them on how to carry out His mission on earth.
3) Just recently, however, Jesus had ascended to heaven.
4) He promised to send the comforter to them (John 14:16, John 16:13).
5) He told them to wait in Jerusalem for this promise from the Father (Acts 1:4).
6) And then the day of Pentecost arrived.
7) They were all together in one place.
3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: On the day of the conversion of the three thousand we see . . .
I. Presence of the Holy Spirit (verses 1-4)
1. God’s Spirit
1) God’s Spirit is always present everywhere (Psalm 139.7).
2) This was a special manifestation of God’s Spirit promised to the apostles.
3) The first clue to His presence was the sound of wind, rushing and mighty.
4) Upon each of the apostles’ heads appeared a tongue like fire split in two.
5) The text says that they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
6) They spoke in different languages as the Spirit gave them speech.
7) The presence of God’s Spirit was needed in that day to advance the cause of Christ.
2. The presence of God’s Spirit is needed if we are to conduct effective evangelism.
1) Today there is no miraculous presence; the Spirit guides us through His words.
a. Obeying the message of the Spirit in the New Testament.
b. Teaching others what the Spirit taught through the apostles.
c. 1 Peter 4:11 “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
2) Trusting in the Spirit’s will gives us confidence to do what is right.
II. People of the Dispersion (Acts 2:5-13)
1. About these people.
1) Jews had come from everywhere to observe the feast of Pentecost.
2) The noise made by the Holy Spirit brought them to the place where the apostles were.
3) They heard the apostles speaking in their own native languages.
4) It was an obvious miracle because the apostles were Galileans.
5) They heard the apostles speak in their own languages the “wonderful works of God.”
2. We need people to do effective evangelism.
1) God’s design was for men of all nations to hear the gospel.
2) Jesus had said, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
3) “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15).
4) God wants all peoples to hear the message of the gospel without discrimination.
5) Peter declared in Acts 10:34-35 “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
6) God wants the souls of men to be saved. Do you?
III. Prophets of the Old Testament (Acts 2:14-21)
1. The Prophet Joel
1) To explain what was happening, Peter turns to the prophet Joel.
2) He tells them that Joel spoke of this day (Joel 2:28-32).
3) This prophecy spoke concerning the pouring out of God’s Spirit.
4) It spoke of a day when salvation would come in Jerusalem.
2. The Prophet David
1) Peter also turns to the prophet David from Psalm 16:8-11.
2) This psalm speaks of the preservation of the Messiah from deathly corruption.
3) Peter also quotes from Psalm 110:1 regarding the reign of the Messiah.
3. We need to go to the prophets if we are going to do effective evangelism.
1) 2 Peter 1:21 says, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
2) The honest of heart just want the facts from the scripture.
3) This means we need to know the scriptures so we, like Peter, can teach others.
4) 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
IV. Preachers of the Gospel (Acts 2:22-36).
1. Peter with all the apostles.
1) All were preaching according to Acts 2:11.
2) Peter lifted up his voice in verse 14 to lead the thoughts of all.
3) He made the proper application of the prophet Joel and what it meant.
4) He tells them who the Lord of Joel 2:32 was – Jesus of Nazareth.
a. That Jesus was approved by miracles, wonders, and signs that God did.
b. That they killed Jesus by crucifixion (23).
c. That God had raised up Jesus from the dead (24).
d. That David prophesied concerning Jesus’ resurrection (verses 25-30).
e. That Jesus is the one responsible for sending forth the Holy Spirit (verse 33)
f. That David prophesied concerning Jesus’ ascension into heaven (verse 34-35).
g. That God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ (verse 36).
2. We need preachers if we are going to do effective evangelism.
1) 1 Corinthians 1:21 “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
2) God has chosen preaching as the means by which men are to be saved.
3) People need preachers to help them understand the application of the scriptures.
4) People need preachers to exhort them to believe and obey the scriptures.
V. Penitent of Heart (Acts 2:37-41)
1. The three thousand souls.
1) Those who heard Peter were convicted of their sin against God.
2) They wanted to know what to do.
3) Peter told them that they needed to repent and be baptized.
4) The promise of salvation as mentioned by Joel was for them and all.
5) Peter continued to exhort them with many other words.
6) He said to them, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation” (verse 40).
7) Those that were truly penitent, received Peter’s words and were baptized.
8) The number was three thousand souls.
2. We need individuals who have penitent hearts if we are going to do effective evangelism.
1) Jesus called them “good ground” (Matthew 13:23).
2) They are the ones willing to believe and obey the word of God.
3) The impenitent need to hear the gospel too, but we will not be effective with them.
4) The preaching of the gospel to them is for warning so they will be without excuse.
5) “I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;” (Isaiah 65:2).
6) We need to reach the penitent of heart, the “good ground,” the honest and sincere seekers of truth.
VI. Persistent in Faithfulness (Acts 2:42-47)
1. The follow up
1) After these three thousand were baptized, the apostles did not abandon them.
2) These continued with the apostles.
a. In their doctrine/teaching.
b. In fellowship with them.
c. Breaking of bread – Observing the Lord’s Supper.
d. In prayer.
3) They feared the Lord because of the signs and wonders done by the apostles.
4) They were together and had all things common – they shared with one another.
5) They made sacrifices for one another through selling their possessions and goods.
6) Every day they met in the temple.
7) They shared meals with one another in their houses with gladness.
8) They were united together under a single purpose.
2. If we are going to do effective evangelism, then we need to be persistent in faithfulness.
1) We need to follow up with those that have been recently baptized.
2) This is more than just a “new converts” class.
3) It involves including them together with us in our regular worship.
4) Praying with them.
5) Eating with them in their homes and in our homes.
6) Making sacrifices for them.
7) We must be concerned about keeping the baptized faithful!
1. In this account of conversion, we learn the essential ingredients to effective evangelism.
1) Presence of the Holy Spirit – We need God in our lives to do evangelism.
2) People of the Dispersion – We need to go to people to do evangelism.
3) Prophets of the Old Testament – We need the scriptures to do evangelism.
4) Preachers of the Gospel – We need preachers to do evangelism.
5) Penitent of Heart – We need good soil to do evangelism.
6) Persistent in Faithfulness – We need to follow up to do evangelism.