“Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” (Acts 2:40)
These were words from Peter to the people who were present when God poured out his Holy Spirit on the apostles and the early Jewish followers of Jesus at the Feast of Pentecost.
This has long been regarded as the start of Christ’s church. The Book of Acts tells us that those looking on heard a sound like the blowing of a violent wind and saw about 120 of Jesus’ disciples praying in languages not their own, praising and worshiping God. They asked Peter what this all meant.
Peter said that Jesus, who had performed many miraculous signs among the people, had been executed by the authorities, was raised from the dead by God and was the long awaited Messiah foretold by the prophets. He was now pouring out his Holy Spirit as he had promised on all that believed in him. Peter urged all that were listening to “save themselves from this corrupt generation.”
Though Peter’s words were directed at the people in front of him, they are in fact timeless, applicable to generations beyond his own, including our present generation. The loss of respect for life in our current day, the confusion over truth, the erosion of integrity, the diminishing state of sexual morality and the abandonment of principles of natural law, all point to corruption in our present generation.
So what should we do? Interestingly, the people of Peter’s generation asked the same question. He told them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” He went on to say that this “promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39)
That’s us! We are far in distance and time, but Peter’s words are meant for us just as they were to the people of his day. Repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to enrich and empower our lives.
Then, we can be a leaven to our present generation by bringing the presence of Christ to the people and circumstances of our lives through our words and actions.
Jesus said to Peter, “And I tell you that you are Peter [rock], and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Mt. 16:18)
As the psalmist says, “But you, O Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown enduring through all generations.” (Psalm 102:12)