Summary: This outline of Acts 2 comments on four aspects of the Day of Pentecost. The Lord Jesus Christ had promised the disciples in Acts 1 that they would receive power to be His witnesses, and on Pentecost, it happened!

Outline for Acts 2, The Church-Its Foundation and Mission

Introduction: The Church began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) after Peter delivered his message about Jesus and the Resurrection. After he finished, 3000 people repented and were baptized—and the story continues to this day.

(Note: this outline could be used for a message or for an introduction to a study of Acts. Please feel free to use this outline as the Lord leads,)

1 The importance of prayer

--This had been a part of genuine worship for many years. Classic example: David, whose prayers and conversations with the Lord were recorded in I and II Samuel; more in Psalms.

--Jesus Himself had prayed often, sometimes spending entire nights in prayer to the Father (see Luke 6:12 for one example). He also prayed His high priestly prayer in John 17 and prayed earnestly in the Mount of Olives (Luke 22:44). If He needed to pray, how much more for us!

--Disciples had been praying for ten days per the Lord’s command (compare Luke 24:49 and Acts 1). This doesn’t necessarily mean all of them prayed continually for ten solid days—they would have had to get some rest and some food, obviously, in the meantime—but the group, as a whole, was united in prayer for that period of time.

--God honored this prayer by sending them His power!

2 The investment in power

--Jesus had promised this (1:8, “ye shall receive power . . .”)

--And He was going to provide this (. . .not many days from now”)

--Still, He was going to postpone this until the Day of Pentecost. Pentecost was basically the same event as the Feast of First-fruits (Leviticus 23:10-15), 50 days after Passover.

--This power was to be witnesses of and for the Lord; never to bring glory to any person.

And it happened on the Day of Pentecost!

3 The importance of Pentecost

--One of the three required (!) feasts of the Jews. Every Jewish male was required to come to Jerusalem for Passover and Pentecost (First Fruits) plus, later in the year, the “feast of ingathering (Exodus 34:23-24)”.

--The news about Jesus, and His death and resurrection (declared by the apostles, denied by the unbelievers) seemed to still be fresh in Jerusalem.

--If the visiting Jews hadn’t heard about Jesus, they probably couldn’t avoid it at Pentecost!

After Pentecost, when 3000 (at least) heard, repented and believed, progress (in the good sense) began to develop. These believers seemed to share their new faith with others!

4 The involvement of progress

--3000 believers on the Day of Pentecost, as noted. These were Jews and proselytes (Gentiles who converted to the Jewish faith) from most of the known world.

--5000 more at some time later (Acts 4:4)

--Later, Samaritans believed (Acts 8) and Gentiles (Cornelius, a Roman army officer, Acts 10)

--Some fled Jerusalem after Stephen’s martyrdom and preached as they traveled all the way to Antioch of Syria (Acts 11).

--With the ministry of Paul and others, many parts of the known world heard and believed the Gospel, even as far away as Rome.

Conclusion: Events like Pentecost were one-time, singular events: no need to repeat or replicate. Dr. Vance Havner warned in one of his books about the danger of trying to create another “Pentecost” by using blasts of hot air and other things!

The Lord has already promised and provided all the power we need to be His witnesses. Like those believers in Acts, may we do our part to share the Good News about Jesus to as many as we can!

Scripture quotations were taken from the King James Version of the Bible (KJV).

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