By Allen Domelle
“And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)”
The day of Pentecost is certainly one of the greatest works of the New Testament church in history. Very few churches can boast of what happened in the early church with over three thousand being saved and baptized in one day. Every church looks at this day with amazement, and they should look at this day with a desire for the same work of the Holy Ghost to happen in their church.
However, this day only happened because of the verse above. It says in the verse above, “And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples…” Hold on; this was the same Peter who forty days prior to him standing up in the midst of the disciples denied Christ, the church and his faith. The fact that these disciples allowed Peter to lead them was amazing, but maybe the great amazement of Peter being able to lead this group of people is found in verse 14. It says in verse 14 about the gathering of this church, “…and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” Mary and Jesus’ brethren were also in this gathering in the upper room where Peter took charge. Mary and Jesus’ brethren could have easily held a grudge against Peter for denying Christ, but they were willing to forgive him and let the LORD use him not many days after his denial. Pentecost would have been missed had they not forgiven Peter.
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Many of the great works of God would have never happened had God’s people not forgiven a fallen brother. It was Barnabas who took a quitting John Mark under his wings and nurtured him back to usefulness. It was Nathan the prophet being willing to forgive David that allowed the great Psalm 51 to be given to us through the Scriptures. It was an Ananias who was willing to invest in Saul who later became Paul that allowed the Gospel to get to the Gentile world. These people, and so many more, were willing to forgive “great” sins and invest in the fallen that allowed the great works of God to follow in the lives of these people.
My friend, God often does great works in the lives of people who get right after a “great” sin. One reason that God can do such great works in the lives of a fallen believer is because they can no longer receive the glory, and God is able to show His power through their lives. Just because a person has messed up their lives does not mean that God cannot use them.
However, one thing that stops people from being used after they fall into sin are Pharisaical believers who won’t forgive. It is sad that many people who have fallen into sin can’t be used anymore because of the Pharisees in our churches who won’t allow them to do anything because of how “bad” their sin was that they committed. Imagine if Mary and Jesus’ brothers had the same attitude of many believers today about a fallen brother; Pentecost would have been missed if they had this attitude.
Let me caution you to be careful about not allowing a fallen brother to be used again. Don’t be the gossip that destroys the ability of that person being used by God. There are many great works of God that are yet to be revealed in the lives of a fallen believer, and the only thing that will let that work be seen is someone who will nurture a fallen brother back to usefulness.
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