(Acts 2:40; Matthew 12:38-39; 16:1-4; Mark 8:38).
The American heritage dictionary of the English language defines the word “unto-ward” thus:- unfavourable, presenting unfavourable circumstances, hard to control, obstinate, un-manageable. This is the qualification that the apostle Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost put on the people of his day many centuries ago, while he was concluding his sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:40).
Going through the Acts of the Apostles and Church history, we discover that the apostles grappled with multitudes of diverse nationalities with different tongues, traditions or cultures. In the main, there were the Jews, the Greeks, the Romans.
At this particular occasion of the Pentecost and the resultant sermon of St. Peter, we have a clear picture of the matter (Acts 2:6-11).
It was indeed an obstinate, unmanageable and unfavourable generation. The Holy Spirit labeled them thus because they were sold completely to their sinful ways, philosophies, traditions and cultures and seemed unbending, no matter what was done.
Not long before this time of apostle Peter, the Lord Jesus had labeled His audience of multitudes (sometimes mostly Jews, at other times, Jews and Gentiles) an indifferent generation that will not yield, no matter the strategy God adopted (Matthew 11:16-19); an evil, wicked and adulterous generation, so engrossed in their evil, wicked and adulterous ways that the authoritative and fiery sermons and mighty miracles of the Lord could not move them to repentance (Matthew 12:41-42, 43-45).
At a point, He was so offended with their hypocrisy, insincerity, selfishness, self-righteousness and the wresting of God’s word of the religious leaders, that he heaped a lot of curses on them (Matthew 23:1-36).
It was from such a generation, laden with all that have been shown about them above, that the Lord and His apostles urged their listeners to sever themselves from, repent and be saved (Matthew 12:39; Acts 2:40).
Today, we have a worse situation. Youths are restive everywhere in the world. Aggrieved people take to violence, arson and destruction. Everywhere there are ethnic/cultural differences with their attendant evil results.
Multitudes are unruffled, indifferent. Every form of evil — murder, robbery, adultery, fornication, cheating, wickedness has increased in alarming proportions.
The religious, but unregenerated people are worse today than their Pharisee/Sadducee counterparts of Jesus’ time.
The multitudes have been sold over to their sins, philosophies and beliefs and seem obstinate. Indeed, the time in which we live is a worse untoward, wicked and adulterous generation.
Pastor A.C. Ohanebo,
Watchman Catholic Charismatic Renewal