51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! — Acts 7:51 NLT
Stephen has just recited a short summary of all the things God had brought the Israelites through and the miracles He had peformed in bringing them to the Promised Land. Stephen also reminded them that God did this for them in spite of their unbelief and unfaithfulness. He did it as a fulfillment of His covenant with their ancestors. Even though God was faithful, the Israelites were not, refusing to listen to Moses and any of the prophets God sent to them with messages warning them to repent and be obedient to God. Instead they persecuted and murdered the prophets choosing to remain in their sinful ways and worship idols made by human hands. The people Stephen was addressing were still following in their ancestor’s paths, choosing to kill the Messiah rather than to give up their worldly ways and repent. If Stephen were here today, he could add the history of our country to his discourse and the accusation would still be true. After all the years of God blessing this country with His abundance, we are still a “stubborn people, heathen at heart and deaf to the truth”. More and more, as each day passes by, we become a more sinful nation. We refuse to believe that God will punish us just as He punished the Israelites. We must pray that God will have mercy on this nation of ours, that He will replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh and write His name upon our hearts.
Even though this was a promise God made to the Israelites, His chosen people, may He see fit to extend His mercies to us because, as Christians, we are a people chosen by Him as well.
1 This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. 2 I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles. 3 Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4 They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”–2 Peter 3:1-5 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
We are to be in the world, but “not of this world”. While it is true that we need to be cognizant of the things going on around us everyday, we should not allow those things to weight us down. With all the bad news we are subjected to everyday, how do we avoid negative thinking? We do what Peter suggested here, we refresh our memories of all of God’s promises and how He has never failed or gone back on His word. When satan tempted Jesus, Jesus rebuked him with the Word of God. We must be so grounded in the Word, that we do the same thing. We must remember that even Jesus said He did not know when the end would come.
32 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 33 And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!—Mark 13:32,33 (NLT)
Yes, there are those that mock and say “Oh, I have heard that for years and Jesus still hasn’t come back.” While that statement is true today, it may not be true tomorrow.
We do not need to waste our time trying to figure out when Jesus will come back. We have plenty to do while we wait. We must be on guard against the wiles of the devil and we must stay alert! Do not be deceived, Jesus will come back at the appointed time. We just need to stay ready.
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors at many different times and in many different ways through the prophets. 2 In these last days he has spoken to us through his Son. God made his Son responsible for everything. His Son is the one through whom God made the universe. 3 His Son is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact likeness of God’s being. He holds everything together through his powerful words. After he had cleansed people from their sins, he received the highest position, the one next to the Father in heaven. 4 The Son has become greater than the angels since he has been given a name that is superior to theirs. 5 God never said to any of his angels,
God is waiting to show you the way.
“You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.”
And God never said to any of his angels,
“I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.”—Hebrews 1:1-5 (GW)
In the Old Testament, God spoke to His people through prophets, Theophanies, angels, and, at least, once through an animal. In the New Testament, He sent angels to specific people and also spoke to His people through John the Baptist. But, after Jesus was born, God the Father spoke to humans through God the Son. Jesus was present at the creation. He is the exact likeness of God and He is the reflection of God’s glory.. Once he had been obedient to the cross and completed His earthly mission, He was exalted to His present position, which is next to God in heaven. He intercedes for us there. He is greater than all the angels and His Name is superior to all other names. His Name is the only Name in heaven and on earth or under the seas, whereby we can receive eternal salvation.