1. Peter and John had gone to the temple, and Peter healed a man who was born lame (vs.1-7). 2. The man's reaction provided an audience for Peter and John (vs.8-11). 3. The words we read in vs.19-21 are from the sermon that Peter preached on that occasion. 4. In our lesson we are concentrating on Peter's instruction in vs.19 to "be converted." 5. The first point we need to make is that . . .
I. THE LORD REQUIRES EVERYONE TO BE CONVERTED
A. Specifically, the Lord requires: 1. those who are not Christians to be converted (Acts 3:19) 2. those who have become unfaithful to be converted (James 5:19-20). B. Since the Lord requires everyone to be converted, we must understand what conversion is. 1. Convert: to turn, to turn to God from sin, a change that we must undergo to be in good standing with God. 2. Now that we understand that the Lord requires everyone to be converted, let us examine . . .
II. WHY WE NEED TO BE CONVERTED
A. We need to be converted so our "sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19; 2:38). 1. Sin is a widespread problem (Romans 3:23). 2. Sin has serious consequences, but a special gift is available (Romans 6:23). B. We need to be converted to enter the kingdom (Matthew 18:3; John 3:5). C. We need to be converted to be ready for the Lord's return (Acts 3:19b-21). D. We need to point out that . . .
III. GOD'S WORD PRODUCES CONVERSION
A. (Psalm 19:7a) "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." 1. In order for God’s Word to produce conversion, we must hear it in the right way. 2. (James 1:21) We must "receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save our souls." B. When we understand that God’s Word produces conversion when it is properly heard, we can know why some people won’t be converted. 1. Isaiah 6:8-10 a. Isaiah was sent to preach to his people, the Jews. b. God told Isaiah that his people would not be converted. c. They would not be converted because: 1) they would not understand, and they would not perceive 2) they would have a problem with their hearts, ears, and eyes. d. Isaiah's mission was to teach God's Word. e. The Jews would have to hear his teaching in the right way to be converted. f. Unfortunately, they would not hear correctly. 2. These words are quoted several times in the New Testament. a. (Matthew 13:14-15) Jesus applied Isaiah's words to those who failed to understand His parables. b. (John 12:37-40) Isaiah's words are applied to the Jews who saw the Lord’s miracles but refused to believe on Him. c. (Acts 28:24-27) Isaiah's words are applied to the people in Rome who did not believe Paul’s teaching. C. God’s Word produces conversion. 1. However, in order for conversion to take place, we must hear God's Word properly. 2. For the last point of our lesson we need to show that . . .
IV. CONVERSION IS CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH JOY
A. First, God rejoices when a sinner is converted (Luke 15:10). B. Second, sinners who are converted have reason to rejoice (Acts 8:39 - the eunuch "went on his way rejoicing"). C. Third, the conversion of sinners ought to cause Christians to experience great joy (Acts 15:3 – when Paul and Barnabas declared how Gentiles had been converted, "they caused great joy unto all the brethren"). D. Fourth, those who truly know the joy of the Lord's salvation will be involved in converting sinners to God (Psalm 51:12-13).
1. Are you in need of conversion today? 2. If you are, take the necessary steps so your life can be right with God.