THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
JESUS IS LORD AND MESSIAH
Today’s reading: Acts 2:36-41
What is the good news that we proclaim? It is this: “God
has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
(Acts 2:36b). Jesus went to the cross and won for us our salvation.
With his resurrection he has won victory over death, sin and
the devil. He reigns over all. Jesus is Lord and Savior.
that is a very powerful proclamation. When people hear this,
they can be “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37a). Upon
hearing the proclamation of this truth, upon being convicted
in their heart, they move to the next step, which is to ask,
“What are we to do, my brothers?” (Acts 2:37b).
No one can be unmoved by the story of the sacrificial death
of Jesus. Hearing the gospel necessitates a response.
is that response? “Repent and be baptized, every one
of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of
your sins” (Acts 2:38a). The proper response is repentance
of sin and turning to faith in Jesus as the Christ. Then one
receives sacramental Baptism to be cleansed of sin and to
be incorporated into the body of Christ on earth. When this
happens, then “you will receive the gift of the holy
Spirit” (Acts 2:38b). God’s very own Spirit comes
to dwell in us, with our bodies becoming the temple of the
Wow! God did the most loving act of all in dying for us on
the cross. Now God dwells within us in order to ultimately
bring us to heaven. This is the beginning and the end. And
what is in between? What allows the beginning to move to the
end? It is the work of evangelization, the work given as a
privilege to us.
work is of critical importance. It is the most importance
work or service a Christian can do for others. It is what
fulfills the call of the Church to be a missionary body.
live in a corrupt and darkened world. Only Jesus can save
us from this sinful world, which plunges deeper into faithlessness
and depravity. Now Jesus has done what he needed to do. It
is now all up to us. People need to hear the gospel, and respond
to it with repentance and faith. “Save yourselves from
this corrupt generation.” (Acts 2:40b).
gospel also is not just for us but for all -- for the generations
after us and for the whole world. “For the promise is
made to you and to your children and to all those far off,
whomever the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:39). Now
God calls everyone, wanting all to be saved.
We are called and so we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. Our
children are called and so we work to renew and strengthen
our family. All the nations are called and so we do a wide
purposeful work of rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization.
Peter preached the gospel and “about three thousand
persons were added that day.” (Acts 2:41b). From there
the Christian Church grew rapidly and massively, ultimately
encompassing the whole world.
this third millennium, there is an even greater urgency to
preach the gospel. The world is in deeper darkness than ever
before. We are hurtling into the end of time. The Lord is
counting on all his true disciples. Let us do our part.