One thing everyone of us has witnessed, alas with recurring frequency, is the sinfulness, some would say utter depravity, of human beings as it affects the entire world in which we live. No country is free of the ravages of sin: thieving, gambling, prostitution, pornography, incest, war and the list goes on. It would seem that there is no hope for mankind from this appalling, destructive way of life. We need to find out, by diligent inquiry, if our maker, the Almighty God, has made some provision for our salvation.
In this contemplation we examine the Apostle Peter, on the day of Pentecost, as he stood up and addressed the congregation in Jerusalem. In Acts 2:21 he came to the crux of the matter which, when believed and accepted, was to impact the lives of 3000 men immediately and the whole world in due course.
Here is what Peter said, "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2:21)
We should take note of some important things:
The message of salvation is old but still relevant to every soul today. For however many times we hear the message its life-giving impact remains the same.
We might have heard about salvation before but it is what we do about it that counts. The Bible tells us not to be hearers of the word only but doers as well. (James 1:22)
Count yourself privileged as an unbeliever if God speaks to your heart for His Spirit will not always strive with man. (Genesis 6:3)
Like all good fathers the world over God has made ample provision for our salvation. Now let us take a look at God's blessed provision for our salvation by examining:
THE RANGE OF GOD'S PROVISION
God's provision is inclusive
In a world where so many are being excluded, Peter affirms the good news that God's plan includes everyone, "And it shall come to pass that whosoever" (Acts 2 :21a)
This is the final nail in the coffin of the idea of "Jewish exclusivity" that salvation is of the Jews and for the Jews only.
It's a blessed affirmation, if any is needed, of John 3:16 where it is boldly stated that "whosoever believeth on him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
Whosoever includes the poor, the homeless, the humble as well as the rich, the mighty and the educated; indeed everyone.
It includes those whom society has ostracized or discriminated against like Zacchaeus in Luke 19: 1-10?
Whatever your position in life this plan includes you.
God's provision is individually acquired
It is a fatal flaw to think that because God has made provision for our salvation we are automatically saved, but that is not so for only whosoever "shall call" (Acts 2 :21b)
God in his wisdom has given us many scriptures to leave us in no doubt as regards this fundamental truth; that man has the ability to choose salvation:
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17)
"If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink" (John 7: 37b)
"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat" (Isaiah 55:1a)
God's provision is invaluable
If we could put a price on it then it would not be from God because God's provision of salvation through Jesus Christ is priceless, "yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price." (Isaiah 55:1b)
It is priceless because God conceived it. (Compare masters rare paintings, e.g. Mona Lisa but it can be bought if the seller is willing to part with it.)
Salvation is priceless for all people in all circumstances for all time and it can be yours just for the asking. Isn't that truly amazing?
THE REALITY OF GOD'S PROVISION
It shows who can be saved
God's precious plan of salvation leaves us in no doubt as to who can be saved, for Peter in this powerful sermon stated clearly that all those who call on the name of the Lord would be saved.
The plan of salvation is people centric; God is truly mindful of us.
Let all those who deny the centrality of man in the scheme of God's creation be ashamed for doubting God's benevolence towards all of us.
It shows how to be saved
It is reassuring to know who can be saved, i.e. those who call on the name of the Lord, meaning those who by faith accepts the message and person of Jesus Christ but it follows a process. Here are 5 steps you can follow to be saved:
Know that you are a sinner, (Romans 3: 23)
Recognize that the price of sin is death, (Romans 6:23)
Appreciate that Jesus by his death and resurrection paid that price for you, (Romans 5: 8)
Understand that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead you shall be saved, (Romans 10: 9)
Be willing to pray the sinner's prayer of asking God to have mercy and save your soul and by believing and trusting God the work is done, (John 1:12), (Romans 10: 13)
It shows when we are saved
Every unbeliever who comes to God through Jesus Christ needs to know the moment he is saved, having done all that is required by faith. He enters a new relationship with God, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1)
You are saved instantly, no delays and no uncertainty.
You will grow in grace as you follow the Lord but that comes in time.
To be saved is as simple as accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savoir. Decide right now to do just that and no power on earth can stop you.
THE RESULTS OF GOD'S PROVISION
God's provision brings redemption
Redemption means full and complete release because of a payment of ransom price, "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20: 28)
This enormous act of redemption, deliverance from the slavery of sin was perfected on the cross at Calvary and reinforced by the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
When you are saved you are redeemed, set free for all time and can say in confidence, like the song by Fanny Crosby:
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the lamb!
Redeemed thro' his infinite mercy - His child and forever I am.
Redeemed, redeemed, Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!
Redeemed thro' his infinite mercy- His child and forever I am
God's provision brings reconciliation
Reconciliation, oh what a beautiful word, means that through the death of Jesus Christ, man's relationship with God is changed from a state of enmity to one of harmonious fellowship, "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." (Romans 5:10)
No one on earth will ever know the joy and wonder of sweet fellowship with God until he is reconciled to him. We were made to have fellowship and blessed communication with God.
God's provision brings propitiation
Propitiation means that God's wrath is turned away by the offering of Jesus Christ, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God" (Romans 3: 25)
This is the ultimate demonstration of God's love, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4: 10)
God has planned so very well for our salvation and now it is up to us to claim it in Jesus' name.
Peter preached this sermon to a large crowd and 3000 were saved. They heard the message, knew it made sense as it impacted their hearts and responded by committing their lives to Jesus Christ. All who are tired of sin, weary with the old life, worried about your soul and where you will spend eternity should give themselves a chance of a new life by accepting Jesus Christ. Whatever your problem, believe me, God is the answer and now is the accepted time for God has made provision for your salvation.
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Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward's career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2013