Pentecost Sunday, 6/4/06-B

It all Began at Pentecost
Acts: 2: 1-8

“When the Old Testament ritual day of Pentecost had come, all of the Apostles and disciples were meeting together in one place and in one spirit of anticipation. (2)  Suddenly, from out of the heavens came a noise that sounded like a rushing mighty wind and the piercing noise filled the room where they were assembled. (3)  Divided flames of fire were suspended over each believer.  (4) All of the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in various languages that they had never heard before. The Spirit of God gave them this unique ability. (5)  There happened to be Jewish pilgrims in Jerusalem from all over the world to celebrate the ritual day of Pentecost. (6)   They heard the believers speaking fluently in their on home languages. (7 )  Amazed and astonished they asked, “Are not all of these Jews from Galilee?” How can we hear them speaking in our native dialects?”
(Acts 2: 1-8, paraphrased)

ortified by the miracles surrounding Easter Resurrection, Jesus’ Ascension, and now the miracles of language at Pentecost, the believers were ready to begin to spread the greatest news ever.

Today, we are still telling our Story and bringing in new believers, one by one. It is said that more people are accepting Christ than ever before. This success is partly because there are more people than ever before inhabiting our planet, and we have more efficient means of communication with people everywhere. For example, via the internet we have thousands of people from all over the English speaking world who read our Messenger articles and sermons each week. Cable television has reached into the far corners of the globe as Christian Missionaries have taken this modern miracle into the houses and gathering places for native people who are hungry to learn and to know more.

As an extra benefit of today’s “Technological World,” people are hearing the story of Jesus’ love for them. Millions are hearing the Old, Old Story, for the very first time. God is indeed pouring His Spirit out upon all people and it soon will be believable that “God has poured out His Spirit upon all flesh.” (v.17)

Do we not limit God’s great blessing of Pentecostal Power whenever we limit it to our little selves being made to feel closer to God, or personally touched by God? This can be an extra benefit of Pentecost, but Pentecost is so much more than what we inwardly experience.

All of history has moved toward the Day of Pentecost and we can be correct when we place more emphasis upon Pentecost than we do upon any other Christian rite or festival. Look back, that first Day of Pentecost is correctly understood by us to signify the turning point of all human history and God’s plan of winning us back to Him.

Christmas is typically celebrated as the “Hinge of History.” All of the Christian/Western World in many ways operates according to what we learned at the manger. Without the birth of Christ, there would have never been the God/Man Jesus Christ. But it was the Holy Spirit who gave us the understanding to accept the joy of an actual relationship with Him through the Spirit to us.

The pivotal event of God’s coming to indwell our souls was to give us an assurance of salvation and a sense of The Divine Presence. We cannot understand, or bottle, or hide it under a basket: all we can do is to tell others about how it has changed our lives, and has given us spiritual blessings such as: Joy, peace, assurance, hope love, inner peace and true tranquility.

But, what is so special about the story of Jesus’ “rescue mission” to save us? Out of the firestorm of the Passion of Christ has come the message that God really does love us and that He wants the very best for all people. As we are impressed by the old story we realize that if God did all of that for us then we must be somehow right with Him. The natural response to His great love is for us to return love. This is the way we are made and the maker new just how to grab us.

And it all began at Pentecost.

a sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor
Pentecost Sunday, 6/4/06-B