by Jerry Shugart
"Word of Reconciliation" Preached on the Day of Pentecost?
Today the Christian has been given the ministry of reconciliation to preach the word of reconciliation:
"And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor.5:18-21).
The "word of reconciliation" cannot be preached apart from the "purpose" of the Lord Jesus' death upon the Cross:
"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death" (Col. 1: 20-22).
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son" (Ro. 5: 10).
On the Day of Pentecost there was absolutely no mention of the word "reconciliation" nor was there any mention of the "blood of His Cross" in reference to the reconciliation of the world.
William R. Newell, a longtime associate of the Moody Bible Institute, wrote the following:
"But unto none of these twelve Apostles did God reveal the great body of doctrine for this Age. Just as God chose Moses to be the revelator to Israel for the Ten Commandments and all connected with the Law dispensation, so God chose Saul of Tarsus to be the revelator and unfolder of those mighty truths connected with our Lord�s death, burial, and resurrection and His ascended Person...No other Apostle speaks of these things. Peter himself had to learn them from Paul (2 Pet. 3:15-16)...Paul is the declarer and revealer of the Gospel to us...The great doctrines that Paul reveals may be outlined as follows: 'Reconciliation-the removal by Christ�s death for man of that obstacle to righteousness which man�s sin had set up between God and man'...'" (Newell, Paul's Gospel).
After reading this Bible tract the founding president of Dallas Theological Seminary, Lewis Sperry Chafer, said:
"This is a great tract, a clear treatise on the truth of God for this age. The author was one of America's greatest Bible expositors. It glorifies the Savior as the author desired it to do. It should be distributed by hundreds of thousands" (Editor, Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Autumn 1994, Volume 7:12).
Of course the truths spoken by Peter on the Day of Pentecost were not the body of doctrine for this age. For example, consider Peter's words here:
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, that the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you" (Acts 3:19-20).
Sir Robert Andserson, who preached with the man many call the father of systematic dispensationalism, John Nelson Darby, wrote the following about Peter's words at Acts 3:19-20:
"To represent this as Christian doctrine, or the institution of 'a new religion,' is to betray ignorance alike of Judaism and of Christianity. The speakers were Jews -the apostles of One who was Himself 'a minister of the circumcision.' Their hearers were Jews, and as Jews they were addressed. The Pentecostal Church which was based upon the testimony was intensely and altogether Jewish. It was not merely that the converts were Jews, and none but Jews, but that the idea of evangelising Gentiles never was even mooted...The Jerusalem Church, then, was Jewish. Their Bible was the Jewish Scriptures. The Jewish temple was their house of prayer and common meeting-place. Their beliefs and hopes and words and acts all marked them out as Jews...Nothing was further from the thoughts of these men than 'founding a new religion.' On the contrary, while hailing the rejected Nazarene as their national Messiah, they clung with passionate devotion to the religion of their fathers" (Anderson, The Silence of God [Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1978], 75-78).