The first time the Gospel was ever preached, it cut listeners to the heart. “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).
This emotional response was triggered by a fact-filled, scripture-filled, logical presentation. Peter explained to those Jews in Jerusalem that: the wonders they saw and heard were a fulfillment of prophecy. David had prophesied the resurrection, and that Jesus was responsible for what was occurring.
Peter concluded: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
This information was too much to ignore for about 3,000 people. They heard what was said, they processed that information, they applied that information to themselves, and they acted that very day to right the wrong they had done (Acts 2:38-42).
This process continued in the following days, and the church grew as sinners continued to hear the facts and logic of the Gospel (Acts 2:43-47).
Do you have the patience and the stomach to actually study the word of God to see what it says? Do you have the desire to hear the Bible explained and applied, or is that too boring?
Emotion is all the rage these days. Preachers can whip people into a frothy frenzy as they pace back and forth on stage working the microphone, alternately shouting and whispering to the audience. And many worship “services” today are slick emotional performances, rather than efforts to honor God.
The Gospel—its history, facts, reasoning, and commands—produces emotion. That’s the order of the first Gospel sermon in Acts 2. It’s the order of every other Gospel sermon in the book of Acts.
But people today want emotion and entertainment, and they leave out the reading and hearing and thinking that the Bible requires.
The religious emotion so popular today is based largely on emotion. Not on a hard look at the facts. Not on thinking. Not on reasoning. Not on considering what the Bible really says. This is dangerous because emotion often feels good, even when it’s based on error. Don’t be fooled by a feeling.
The Bible is aimed at the mind. Jesus said those who continue in His word would know the truth, and the truth would free them from sin (John 8:31-32). The kind of real emotion that you see in Acts 2 is based on a factual, logical, demanding presentation of truth. And understanding the truth leads people with honest and good hearts to obey the Gospel, live faithfully, and ultimately go to heaven.