Study Acts 3:19-21.
How does the blotting out of sins that is mentioned here relate to the cleansing of the sanctuary that we studied yesterday?
While Peter may not have known the “times or seasons” (Acts 1:7), his reference to Joel’s prophecy in Acts 2:14-21 points to his appreciation of the fulfillment of prophecy in his time. In his prophetic frame of mind it seems evident that “Peter, speaking by inspiration, and thus beyond his own finite understanding, is referring, tersely, to two great events of earth’s last days – (1) the mighty outpouring of God’s Spirit, and (2) the final blotting out of the sins of the righteous – which are tied to a third climactic event, the second advent of Christ.” – The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 160.
The early church was certain of both the second coming of Christ and the promise of a new heaven and earth (2 Pet. 3:13). Christ’s first coming provided a theological rationale for the second. As far as we are concerned, without the second coming the first coming would have been futile. The process of dealing with the sin problem, a process that He began with His sacrifice on the cross, reaches its consummation when, after the “cleansing of the sanctuary”, He appears the “second time . . .for salvation” (Heb. 9:26, 28, NKJV). In fact, without the second coming, and the resurrection it brings, what would the promise of salvation mean to us? (See 1 Thess. 4:16-18.) Nothing!
The second coming of Christ will mark the conclusion of the great controversy as far as the destiny of mortals is concerned. Satan, knowing that the end of the controversy is in sight, seeks through deception to lead as many astray as possible. We are told that, “as the second appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ draws near, satanic agencies are moved from beneath. Satan will not only appear as a human being, but he will personate Jesus Christ, and the world that has rejected the truth will receive him as the Lord of lords and King of kings.” – Ellen G. White, Last Day Events, pp. 168, 169. Against this deception we have been warned that Christ’s coming will be a literal, personal, and visible event that will impact the entire world, ending it as we know it – a place of sin, suffering, misery, disappointment, and death.
Look at our world. How well have we, as humans, done in making it a better place? While we must try to improve the lot of those less fortunate than we are, and of those who are suffering and in need – why must we always keep before us that which is the only solution?