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Escape from this perverse generation

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Escape from this perverse generation

by Dave Havir
The writer pastors the Church of God Big Sandy and is a regular columnist for The Journal.

BIG SANDY, Texas--Are you troubled by what you see occurring around the globe? I know that I am, so I suspect many of you are also.

Have you ever noticed a pertinent warning that Peter delivered on the Day of Pentecost?

When the Day of Pentecost arrived, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon the disciples (Acts 2:1-12).

I trust you remember the following events.

  • The manifestation of the power influenced people to think that the apostles were drunk (verse 13).

  • Peter spoke inspiring words about the Christ (verses 14-36).

  • The people responded to Peter's words by asking what they should do (verse 37).

  • Peter gave them the answer about repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and the receiving of the Holy Spirit (verse 38).

Those words in Acts 2:38 are some of the most-often-quoted words in all the Bible.

Often overlooked

But there were more words included in Peter's answer. Peter talked about the promise to their children (verse 39).

Verse 40 mentioned that Peter gave many other words of exhortation.

Also included in Peter's answer was an example of the exhortation he gave. He said: "Save yourselves from this untoward generation" (verse 40).

Other translations say the words this way:

  • "Save yourselves from this crooked generation" (Revised Standard).

  • "Be saved from this perverse generation" (Emphasized New Testament).

  • "I beg you to save yourselves from what will happen to all those evil people" (Contemporary English).

  • "Escape from this perverse generation" (New Testament in Modern Speech).

Sometimes avoiding people

Does escaping from a perverse generation mean to actually avoid other people?

  • We know that David avoided Saul (1 Samuel 26:21-24).

  • Paul taught believers to avoid certain people (Romans 16:17-18), not to keep company with certain people (1 Corinthians 5:9-11), and to withdraw from certain people (1 Timothy 6:3-5).

  • We realize that God instructed Joseph to take his family to Egypt to leave the country to avoid Herod (Matthew 2:13-14).

Always repenting

However, we realize that escaping from a perverse generation does not always dictate being away from people.

In Jesus' prayer to His Father, He mentioned that His disciples were to come out of the world without being away from other people (John 17:14-16). We come out of the world by being away from the evil one.

The main way we escape a perverse generation comes from daily contact with our Father through our personal repentance.

  • If we through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live (Romans 8:13).

  • We are told to purge out the old leaven (1 Corinthians 5:7).

  • We are reminded to flee fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18).

  • We are instructed to put away bitterness, anger and evil speaking (Ephesians 4:31).

  • We are warned to avoid an excess of wine (Ephesians 5:18).

Helpful warnings

The book of Revelation contains some warnings to a few congregations in Asia Minor. Let's see if we can learn a few lessons from them.

  • Christ told the congregation at Ephesus that if the Christians there did not repent He would remove their candlestick (Revelation 2:5).

  • Christ told the congregation at Pergamos that if the brethren there did not repent He would fight against them (Revelation 2:16).

  • Christ told the congregation at Thyatira that if it did not repent it would face great tribulation (Revelation 2:21-22).

  • Christ encouraged the congregation at Sardis to hold fast and repent (Revelation 3:3).

  • Christ warned the congregation at Laodicea to be zealous and repent (Revelation 3:19).

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