Bible prophecy is the key, John Piper explains in the 1980 sermon, “All the Prophets Proclaimed These Days.” The text is Acts 3:17–26. Peter is preaching his first sermon since Pentecost to a crowd of his Jewish brothers. His charge to them is straightforward: Repent therefore, and turn again, so that your sins may be blotted out, and so that times of refreshing may come.
The timing of Peter’s words are especially important. In fact, as he goes on to say in verse 24, all the Old Testament prophets spoke of “these days” — the days when God holds out the opportunity to turn from sin and believe the gospel.
Peter calls it the “times of refreshing.” It's that era in human history which began at Pentecost and stretches through today. It's the time when the message of Jesus’s death and resurrection is proclaimed for the forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit is poured out on all who believe. It’s the time of which all the prophets foretold. It’s the time that is now.
It really matters where we live in redemptive history. Our location jolts our message with urgency. The time of refreshing — the age of the Spirit — is now. It is now as the gospel is proclaimed and people turn from their sins to trust in Jesus. We live in the age of fulfillment, one that all the prophets anticipated. In fact, as Pastor John explains, even “what we anticipate in the future at Christ's second coming is not something completely new, but rather the consummation of the blessings we already enjoy, because the promises have begun to be fulfilled in our lives.”
So what does this mean for us?
It means we do what Peter says. We repent. Piper writes,
Repent means stop banking your hope for happiness on your own achievements and the pleasures of sin, and turn to Christ and bank your hope on his promises. Stop following all the recommendations of the world, and turn and start following the commandments of Christ.
The time for personal revolution is now. The “times of refreshing” is here.
The Messiah has come. He has died for our sins and purchased our redemption, so that times of refreshing might come to all who trust him. He will give the Holy Spirit to all who turn from their sin and ask him. Repent therefore, that your sins may be blotted out and that times of refreshing may come to your heart and your family and all your relationships.
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