Pentecost: The First Firestorm:
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, which, He said, you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now…But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me.” (Acts 1:4-5,8).
These were the final words that the Lord Jesus gave to His disciples before ascending to Heaven. He told them to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit which would set the church on fire. So they began to wait upon the Lord, to spend time in the secret place of prayer, for ten days together in the upper room. What happened next was a supernatural manifestation of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit that changed all of their lives.
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4).
Wow! What an awesome day that must have been. They were praying together in unity, and SUDDENLY… Isaiah 66:15 says, “For behold, the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind.” God sent fire on the day of Pentecost, and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit impacted their world. I believe that the church of today has fallen from the glory it once had, and it’s time for us to return to our foundations and start doing church the way they did it in the book of Acts. What did that look like?
“They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-47).
If we want to be a church that will change the world, we need to return to these important Biblical foundations:
- Discipleship—continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine—this speaks of abiding in God’s Word—reading, studying and obeying the things written in the Bible.
- Fellowship—this speaks of a sharing of lives, a partnership and communion with one another, where we love each other, bear one another’s burdens, and pray for each other.
- Prayers—Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer” and prayer is an absolutely important foundation to the Christian life.
- Signs and Wonders—the true church of Jesus Christ is a supernatural church. If Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and He is a Healer, then we should expect miracles today, just like what we read about in the Bible.
- Giving and sharing—all who believed were together, and had all things in common. Now I’m not suggesting that we all go sell everything we have and share the money with one another, but I do believe we need to care for and meet the needs of one another in the church.
- Unity—continuing daily with one accord—we need to walk in peace and unity in our friendships with one another in the church.
- Gladness—the Kingdom of God is a kingdom of great joy: it’s fun being saved!
- Simplicity of Heart—sometimes as Christians we allow ourselves to get just as busy as the world, and get distracted from our simple purpose in life which is to love God and love others. Let’s slow down, simplify, and focus on what’s really important in life!
- Worship—praising God is not just something we do at church on Sundays, but is part of our lifestyle.
- Evangelism—the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Our mission is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost so that they can be born again.
Pastor Chris Jordan