Summary: The events leading up to Christ's return are happening before our very eyes, and we must be prepared for his coming.
Already And Not Yet
Text: Joel 2:28-32
1. Tim Smith asks the question, "What do these dates have in common (1248, 1306, 1689, 1792, 1836, 1844, 1914, 1936, 1960, 1974, 1981, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1994, 2011)? They all represent the times in which people predicted that the second coming of Christ would occur. No one, not even Jesus knows the exact time of Christ’s coming. Matthew 24:36 What we do know is this: Christ’s coming will be unexpected and dramatic. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up." 2 Peter 3:10."
2. Several times in Joel we see the phrase "the Day Of The Lord." That phrase refers to the day of God's judgment on mankind.
3. When we talk about the Day of the Lord we need to keep in mind that prophecy has an already/not yet component to it. Some of the things concerning the last days have already happened and some of them are now happening. However, there are some things prophesied about the last days that are yet to come.
4. Our text today gives us some good examples of this already/not yet element...
A. Already: Pouring Of The Spirit
B. Already: Salvation To Anyone Who Asks
C. Not Yet: Signs Of Judgment
5. Let's all stand as we read Joel 2:28-32.
Proposition: The events leading up to Christ's return are happening before our very eyes, and we must be prepared for his coming.
Transition: One of the things concerning the Day of The Lord that is already happened is...
I. Already: Pouring Of The Spirit (28-29).
A. I Will Pour Out My Spirit
1. As Pentecostals one of the things regarding the Last Days that has already occurred is the out pouring of the Holy Spirit.
A. We believe the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside of us when we accept Jesus as our savior and we are transformed into new people.
B. However, we also believe that there is something available to all believers called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
C. This is something separate from and in addition to the Holy Spirit living inside of us when we believe.
D. We also believe that the major emphasis of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to empower us for ministry.
E. Furthermore, we believe that the initial sign or proof of this baptism is speaking in tongues.
2. You might ask why this is so significant? It is significant because in OT times God was selective as to whom he filled with the Spirit.
A. It was usually given to certain people like kings, prophets and priests.
B. In addition it was usually given for a specific purpose.
3. However, Joel tells us, “Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. 29 In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants—men and women alike."
A. God promises to pour out his Spirit on “all flesh,” which refers to all humanity.
B. This is clarified by the list of those on whom the Spirit will rest: sons, daughters, old men, young men, male servants and female servants.
C. The prophetic gifts would not be limited by age, gender or societal status.
D. Pour out signifies great abundance. As the physical rains came in sufficient volume to restore the parched land, as well as restored the streams and rivers, so this coming of the Spirit would be an outpouring.
E. All people refers to every category of person. The three categories that are most significant with in any culture - gender, age and class - are to be irrelevant among God's Spirit-filled people. Whatever Spirit-anointed ministry is to be equally available to sons and daughters.
F. Dreams and visions were the common way by which prophecy came in OT times. In those days Servants were the slaves, and for prophecy to come through this group of people was absolutely unheard of (Spirit-Filled Life Study Bible, 1084).
4. Now you might be asking, "What does this have to do with the last days?"
A. Acts 2:16-21 (NLT)
No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike— and they will prophesy. 19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below— blood and fire and clouds of smoke. 20 The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the LORD arrives. 21 But everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved."