I am a former atheist who discovered Jesus in June of 2000. Now I am a chaplain and a licensed UPC minister who loves the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. . . I once was blind, but now I see. . . never say never.
Several years ago at the jail, a man who had repented of his past life and had opened his heart to God, gave the testimony that the first meeting he attended at the jail, he came in the hopes of being able to steal a pen. . .This was a man, now on fire for God, now consumed with a deep love of the Lord, who fully admitted that he did not come to hear the preaching. . .He didn't come to pray or worship. . .He came to that meeting, as months later he later admitted to commit a crime, but along the way, his heart was touched by the Lord and his life was changed hopefully for ever. . .
The second chapter of the book of Acts:
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
The Jews who gathered around those newly filled with the Spirit of God, did not come to the Apostles for spiritual reasons. They did not come to ask spiritual questions about Jesus and this new Way. They cared nothing for the Good News of Salvation being available to every man. . .They came to view a spectacle. They came as people go to the side show in a circus, to see something strange and new. The rumor of men possibly drunk and speaking strangely at 9:00 in the morning spread up and down the streets of Jerusalem. The people gathered as drivers slowing and gaping at an accident. Wanting to catch a glimpse of something to break the dullness of their lives and captivate their interest for a few moments. . .They came. . .They saw. . .What they didn't plan on was the Words of Peter reaching and changing their hearts. . .They came. . .They saw. . .and their hearts were conquered. . .
Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Get them into the Master's House by any means possible. Do not be critical or skeptical at those who come for non-spiritual reasons. . . . Neighborhood festivals, ice cream socials, family movie nights, Mother/daughter banquets, chili suppers, Father's day breakfasts, chicken barbecues, Christmas Pagents, Easter plays, choir concerts, birthday celebrations. . .in any way possible get them into His house as an opportunity to speak to their hearts. For we know that the goal is not getting them into God's house. . .the goal is getting them into heaven. . .
Dare not scoff at them. Peter did not rebuke the spectacle seekers on the day of Pentecost. He did not make fun of them for being motivated by having an unspiritual desire for scandal. Rather Peter instructed them. He spoke to their hearts. He spoke to the sin that he knew was in their lives. Jerusalem was a small city by today's standards. I've seen varying estimates of it having a population of between 25,000 to 80,000 during Jesus day. Without a doubt numbers of the men gathered gawking at the apostles had been in the mob that chanted "crucify Him. . .crucify Him. . .crucify Him.", a majority of them would have likely seen the crosses raised with the crucifixion and with no doubt, all of them would have been aware of the recent drama.
Peter spoke to the sin of the men in that crowd. He spoke directly to that sin that of the crucifixion of Jesus, the murder of the Jews long awaited Messiah, which was so recently committed many of the same men standing before him. . .
By any reason, get them into the House of God and watch with twinkling eyes and secret joy as they come for reasons of the flesh and unwittingly, unashamedly on our part, their hearts are touched and their lives changed by the Word of God. . .