Perry Noble continued his unrelenting attack on religion a few days ago by slandering the Jewish believers in Acts.
Here’s what he read.
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound [of the violent wind], a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
Here’s what he learned.
I saw this section of Scripture this time and it FLOORED me…the people who came running to see what was happening, heard the message and 3,000 of them were eventually converted (Acts 2:41) were religious!!!
They could say all of the right things, pray all the right prayers…heck, they probably had a Christian fish on the backside of their camel!!!
BUT…they didn’t know Jesus!!! (BTW…He said there would be people like this in Matthew 7:21-23! I am preaching on that text this weekend…and praying that people will literally get the hell scared out of them!!!)
(Matthew 7 refers to evildoers who didn’t know God.)
Here’s what Noble gets wrong in his interpretation.
- They probably did say and pray all of the right things, but that was a good thing. These were believers who had become part of God’s family under the old covenant. These people were a part of God’s kingdom in an exciting transitional stage where God basically upgraded their contracts (covenants). The apostles were taking the news of this new Gospel to these very people.
- They couldn’t have had Christian fish stickers. Jesus hadn’t yet (until this day) been announced to people outside of Judea. The whole point was that Jesus’ power, through the signs and wonders that day, was being made apparent to the whole world, representatives of which had gathered in Jerusalem.
- These were the good guys. Luke describes them as devout. They were believers, though not technically Christians yet. The word devout is also used to describe Simeon, who consecrated Jesus, and the believers who mourned and cared for Steven after his murder. Simeon obviously knew Jesus, Steven’s friends certainly did, and it’s not unreasonable to assume that the Jews in Jerusalem were there for Pentecost because they were looking for the Messiah as a fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. These were not the folk from Matthew 7. These were people to be admired and emulated, not ridiculed.
One could dismiss this as Noble just shooting off his mouth again to make a point. One could, though what would happen if we took him seriously? What is he saying?
The application of the lesson was that the contemptible people sitting in churches need to hear the Gospel, just as these contemptible Jews needed it (what’s the camel reference for, if not to express contempt?). Perry Noble has a track record of ridiculing the Christian church, and in recent days he’s stepped that up to essentially question the salvation of people in the pews. Non NewSpringers, he’s talking about your church. He’s encouraging his people to come and proselytize your church because he’s not sure you’re saved.
I can’t say it any clearer than the Scriptures say it…THE FIRST TIME THE GOSPEL WAS PREACHED…IT WAS PREACHED TO RELIGIOUS PEOPLE! We can’t be afraid to share the Gospel!
Here’s the big, serious point. In Acts a genuinely new Gospel was being preached; that’s why these Jewish believers needed to hear it. When they did, they were saved by it.
If Perry Noble is comparing us to those believers in Jerusalem, what new gospel is he preaching?