June 21, 2022 — Which Three Thousand?

“Earlier this morning,” Stan commented, “I was again reading about the early church in the Book of Acts.”

“Any particular part?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Stan replied, “the story of how three thousand people were added to the church on a single day after the apostle Peter gave a powerful message about Jesus and what He had accomplished on the cross.”

“Three thousand coming to faith after a single message of what God had for them,” I commented. “Every pastor’s dream!”

“You got that right!” Stan replied. “But if you will remember, there’s another story in the Bible where something totally different happened to three thousand people because they had rejected what God had for them.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“The golden-calf party,” Stan replied, “that was going on when Moses came down from the mountain with what God had given him to tell the people.”

“The Ten Commandments?”

“That’s it,” Stan said. “And when Moses saw what was going on, three thousand of the disobedient Jews ended up dead.”

“Wow!” I said, “three thousand saved one day, while three thousand were lost another day. That’s quite a contrast.”

“It is, isn’t it?” Stan responded. “I can see that it could make people wonder about the risks and benefits of either rejecting or accepting all that God has for them.”

“Yeah,” I replied. “The question of which group of three thousand to be a part of!”


Bible verses to consider:

And he (Moses) said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Every one of you, put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.’” So the sons of Levi did as Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. Exodus 32:27-28.

And with many other words he (Peter) solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls. Acts of the Apostles 2:40-41.

The Lord is not slow about His promises, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life with you eternally when it’s time through the finished work of the cross. Thank you for those who brought that truth to me (and me to that truth) so I could accept it as your free and gracious gift. Thank you I was and am able to know the truth so I will no longer be eternally separated from you. I confess that too often I do not make the effort to tell others the truth so they, too, can have the assurance of salvation and will not perish apart from you. Please forgive me. And please, Father, help me follow every step of your lead in helping other people to leave the group of those perishing and join those who are saved for eternity. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: What do you think of the parallel of the two different groups of three thousand people, those who perished and those who were saved? Have you left the one group to be a part of the other by accepting what God has for you? If no, why? If you are a Christian, how are you dong with telling others that they do not have to perish, but can be saved? If you sense the need for change in your commitment to doing that, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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