Scripture References: Acts 2:1-12
What an amazing service they had on the Day of Pentecost! One hundred and twenty disciples had been praying and waiting ten days. Suddenly there was a sound like a cyclone. It was a mighty, rushing wind. Every believer was filled with God’s Spirit. Resting upon each of them was a cloven tongue like a fire. They looked like human candles!
Then a marvelous miracle took place. As these disciples witnessed in their native Galilean tongue, those present heard their own language. Something exciting was happening! Three thousand people became Christians that day.
Luke recorded that the people present “were all amazed and marveled.” Two questions began to be asked by the unbelievers. The first was, “Whatever could this mean?” The second question recorded in Acts is the result of the first question. Pierced in their hearts, they said to Peter, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). These people wanted their hearts made right with God. They wanted to be saved and be certain they were going to heaven.
Today’s church has been trying to get the unsaved to ask the second question “What shall we do?” before they ask the first question: “Whatever could this mean?” We have been trying to get the unchurched to want what we have without first being amazed at what we are. We are trying to get them saved and into the church, but we have not shown them anything different in our lives.
It is a tragedy that the unsaved people coming to church often are not amazed. They do not wonder, nor are they perplexed. They do not see anything different in the average church today. They are not asking, “What does this mean?” and then, following that with the question, “What must we do to be saved?”
I believe our Lord wants the church today to be like that first-century church at Pentecost. Billy Graham preached a crusade in a certain city as he often did. Often in his sermons, Graham would state: “The Bible says.” One man remarked, “Billy Graham is going to set evangelism back fifty years.” When Graham heard that, he responded, “Oh, I didn’t mean to do that. I don’t want to set evangelism back fifty years. I want to set evangelism back 2,000 years.”
That is exactly what we need to do. We need to move back to the first-century church at Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost and do what they did. If we prayed as they prayed, believed as they believed, witnessed as they witnessed, evidenced enthusiasm as they were enthusiastic, were filled with the Spirit as they were filled, we can achieve what they achieved. Our God hasn’t changed, so what did?
I believe there are three reasons we can do as those first-century Christians did. First, our God is the same. God has not changed. His Holy Spirit has not changed. He still loves the lost. His mercy, grace, goodness, and love abound. He is still seeking the unsaved. He still is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Do you remember a few years ago when almost everyone was declaring that God was dead? Aren’t you glad that the “God is dead” movement is dead! I like what one wonderful black minister said. “They are talking about how God is dead. Of course, God isn’t dead! In the first place, you have to know the deceased well enough to identify the corpse. These reporting God is dead do not know Him.”
“In the second place, when a death occurs, they always notify the next of kin. I am a son and an heir. Nobody has notified me.”
Then the minister said, “In the third place, what if God did die? Why, all He would do is resurrect Himself and start over again!”
No, God is most certainly not dead. He is alive and well! But some of us act as if God were sick or on vacation. There was a time that God could rescue the perishing, care for the dying, and snatch them in pity from the sin and the grave. But, we are the ones that act as if God can’t do that any more.
God is just as powerful this moment as He has ever been. It’s an insult to God to say we cannot have revival and a harvest of the unsaved today. We can still have Pentecostal power today because God has not changed. How could God change? He is God! This false assumption that it was just to get the church started then it wasn’t needed anymore is the biggest travesty perpetrated on the church!
To Be Continued