I’ve been writing and preaching about the Holy Spirit over the last few weeks. In Acts 2, after the Spirit descended upon the believers at Pentecost, God’s power manifested itself in a way that had never been experienced before. When the Galileans started speaking foreign tongues, other people started questioning the power source, claiming that these Spirit-filled believers were really filled with alcohol. Thus, Peter, positioning himself as the leader of the disciples, rises up and preaches his first sermon.
Like any good pastor should, he basis sermon around Scripture (three different sections of the Old Testament). However, in the first section of Scripture that he quotes, there is a peculiar “last days” reference:
Quoting Joel 2:28-32, Peter states, “And in the last days it shall be…” The last days? Isn’t that speaking about the end of the world? Well, yes…and no. When the Spirit descended upon the believers at Pentecost, it inagurated the Messianic age: the period of time where Christ would start His reign in the hearts of believers. We also call this the church age. We are in that period of time now and will be until Christ comes back. The church age is the last days.
Therefore, Peter is explaining that in the “last days” all of the following will happen: the Spirit will be poured out on all people, people will prophesy, dream dreams, and have visions. This has been the case since Pentecost. All believers everywhere are filled with the Spirit and they experience God in ways that no one else can.
However, Peter then quotes the rest of the section: “And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great magnificent day.” (Acts 2:19-20)
The phrase, “day of the Lord” was a common literary theme which spoke of a time where God would either judge, save, or do both. There have been many days of the Lord and there will most certainly be more in the future. But there will also be that final one day of the Lord when Jesus comes back. In this day God will judge and He will save. Those who call upon his name will be saved.
We find ourselves living in between Jesus’ two comings. He has given us the Spirit. The Spirit enables the church to reach people for Him. And we have until the ‘day of the Lord’ to do that. Why? Because God is a patient God who does not wish any to perish. And “it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21)
In these last days, use the power of the Spirt to enable you to reach those who need to be saved.