Being saved from this perverse generation
In Peter's message on the day of Pentecost, he tells those gathered in Jerusalem who had come to celebrate the annual feasts of Passover and Pentecost to "Be saved from this perverse generation!" Acts 2:40
The word translated perverse in Acts 2:40 is the Greek word skolios. Skolios means crooked ways and acts.
Peter was telling them that they lived in a generation where the people had not followed God's ways, but had chosen to walk in ways that were crooked and their lifestyle proved it.
Most of the children of Israel could fall into this category. In the Song of Moses, which was written as a witness against the sons of Israel (Deut 31:19), we find such a description of this people.
"They have acted corruptly toward Him, They are not His children, because of their defect; But are a perverse and crooked generation." Deut 32:5
"Then He said, 'I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be; For they are a perverse generation, sons in whom is no faithfulness.'" Deut 32:20
The primary problem was that they did not know God, but knew His acts.
He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. Psalm 103: 7
So it is today. You don't have to know God to see His acts, but to know His ways requires a true relationship with Him.
John the Baptist came preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He speaks of Isaiah 40:3-5.
Luke 3:4-6 says, 'as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet', "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight. 'Every ravine shall be filled up, And every mountain and hill shall be brought low; And the crooked shall become straight, And the rough roads smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.' "
In Acts 13:6-10, we see Elymas the magician who was a Jewish false prophet opposing Barnabas and Saul. He was seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Notice that before this he sought to hear the word of God.
In verse 10, Paul addresses him by saying, "You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?"
Diastrepho is defined as twisted in ideas and understanding, to distort, confuse. This certainly describes Elymas.
In Hebrews chapters 3 & 4, we see that most of the children of Israel did not enter into God's rest because of their unbelief. They were either ignorant (apistis) or unpersuaded (apethia). They either didn't know God or were rebellious choosing their own ways over God's ways.
People do what they believe. Believing is not mental assent, but comes from the heart.
God's church is supposed to be above reproach in the midst of a crooked (skolios) and perverse (diastrepho) generation. -- Phil 2:14-15
Since this world system is not from God (1 John 2:15-18), God's children should be different than the people of this world system. 2 Corinth 6:16-18
All of us have some degree of diastrepho and skolios. The question is what do we do about it?
How do we get saved (sozo) from this perverse generation?
(greek) sozo means healed, restored, saved, made whole
* Renew our minds -- Eph. 4:17-24 & Romans 12:1-2
* Take our thoughts captive -- 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
* Abide in God's word-- John 8:31-32, 15:1-11 & Psalm 15, 24
* Receive the WORD inplanted (imbedded in a fixed position), which is able to save our souls (mind, will, and emotions). -- James 1:21-22
* Hold fast to the Word of life -- Phil. 2:12-16
God's word is not a buffet table for us to come and take only what we want and leave the rest. We must accept the whole word of God. When we come to the word, we must accept it for what it is, the word of God. If we have believed something different, we must change our beliefs. God does not change for us. We must change for Him. When we do, we will get saved from this perverse generation.