36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Acts 2:36-37
The people listening to Peter were hungry for truth. They had seen the Holy Spirit move in people they knew. Peter explained the Good News to them, and their only possible response was, “What shall we do?”
Jesus said, “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” John 4:36
We all have fields in varying stages of harvest. Peter preached to a very ripe harvest, but he had no idea what stage they were in.
A classmate of mine in Bible school was preaching in the subway on the way to church one morning. It was the train headed to the airport. After he finished a basic two-minute Gospel message, the people – mainly older tourists – gave him a hearty applause.
The very next week he preached the same message on the same train line at about the same time, and couldn’t get through 20 words without multiple interruptions by college aged kids. He never did finish preaching because he was shouted down so much.
Two audiences. Two very different stages of harvest.
You never know where someone is in their salvation continuum. Have they heard the Gospel once, twice, or 76 times? It’s very easy to “write somebody off” when they are initially opposed to or even hostile to the Gospel. God probably hasn’t written that person off.
That applies to salvation but it also applies to Christians and their walk with Christ. We never know where people are so we’ve got to be very careful to judge that person only in the same way we would want to be judged. Matthew 7:1