Peter continues his speech to the crowd. The crowd was in total amazement as to what was happening. In the past several months, they had been involved, either directly or indirectly, in the crucifixion of a rabble-rouser from Galilee. Then they had heard of some strange goings-on in a building where several of that rabble-rouser’s followers had gathered. Something about these men speaking in foreign languages. Then today, they had seen a man they knew who had been lame, jumping around and praising God like crazy after talking to who seemed like the leaders of the rabble-rouser’s followers. Confused, they listened intently as Peter described how Jesus had been foretold of by the mouths of the prophets.
21 “Whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.
23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.'”
Jesus is Coming Again!
Peter continues his sermon by plainly stating that Jesus is coming again. Jesus died, rose again and then ascended into Heaven, which received Him. Jesus Himself said, when He was teaching the disciples after His Resurrection, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:25-26)
Peter then points out that when Jesus comes back, it will be a time of restoration. Romans 8:21 describes that time as follows: “the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” Glory to God! Times may be rough, but they are all part of God’s master plan for the world and for us, individually. A time is coming when there will be freedom for all who believe, for all who bought by the blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
A Prophet Like Me
Peter next raises some serious questions among the people. He said that Jesus’ mission was spoken by the prophets long ago. The people must have thought he was kidding. The prophets said a lot of stuff, and some of it was probably just allegory or fancy stories designed to make us think, right? Who could understand Ezekiel or Zechariah, anyway, right?
But Peter doesn’t fall into that verbal trap. He speaks of Moses, whom all the people knew and loved. The men had to memorize large portions of Moses’ writings for bar mitzvah, so Peter’s mention got their attention and drew them in.
Moses had said that God would raise up a Prophet like him from among the people. The crowd all knew and agreed upon this. They just had never connected the dots to see that Moses was referring to Jesus, as Peter was now helping them to do. They also knew that they were supposed to listen to this Prophet, yet realized they had not. They had instead insisted He be crucified. This must have caused them to reevaluate their lives and their relationship with God. Peter’s next quote from Moses seals the deal.
You Must be Born Again!
Moses said that everyone who did not listen to Jesus must be destroyed from among the people. This was another way of stating that they (and we) must be born again! This thought was echoed by Jesus when He said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again!” (John 3:7)
There are two places to go after death: heaven or hell. There is no in-between, no soul sleep. We wake up on the other side and, based on our choices in this life, experience everlasting life with Jesus or everlasting punishment. Jesus plainly told Nicodemus, flesh is flesh and spirit is spirit. The flesh dies and decays, but the spirit lives forever.
This is what Moses meant when he said that those who did not listen to Jesus must be destroyed. He was speaking of the next life.
Won’t you listen to Him today, and receive everlasting life?