Summary: understanding the day of Pentecost in Acts 2
Intro: as Pentecostals we should admit we don’t do church celebrations as good as many other denominational churches. I think many churches do communion better than we do, and celebrations around Lent and Advent are done much better in many churches. So I think we should do Pentecost Sunday better than any other church. I think we should mark it on the calendar as our day. We should study everything we can about what Pentecost meant to the Jew, what Pentecost meant to the early church, and what Pentecost means for us today. Of course some Pentecostals teach that Pentecost means speaking in tongues, but that is such a limited view of Pentecost that surely we can do better than that. As I have studied this day there are five things that stand out to me.
Pentecost was a celebration of Harvest
In the time of Jesus it was a celebration of the giving of the Law
In Acts 2 it was the birthing of the church
It was the day of the Spirit
It was the day of wind and fire
So to do Pentecost right, we must celebrate each of these things in a very special way.
(when the day of Pentecost had fully come)
background: I wonder how many Pentecostals have ever taken the time to fully understand that this celebration means 50 or a celebration one day after the seventh Sabbath. Feast of Weeks—or Harvest celebration. By Acts chapter two, it was now a designated day for celebrating the giving of the law by Moses. God didn’t designate this day as tongue talking day, but used this celebration day as a day to do so much more for all of us.
I. Celebrating Harvest---when Pentecost fully comes it means harvest time. For the Jewish person this was a day that meant giving God thanks for the wonderful harvest He had provided. For us today, Pentecost should be a celebration of the harvest of souls. That in these last days the Spirit is being poured out so that people will come to Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. If you are in a Pentecostal church, and you celebrate the Spirit, without celebrating the Harvest of Souls, you don’t get it. If you are happy with the excitement of the moving of the Spirit, but aren’t concerned about the last day harvest, you don’t even qualify to be a Pentecostal. I pastor a Pentecostal church, but when I hear of Spirit filled churches that don’t care about Missions, don’t have a good witness in their community, don’t reach out to the lost and hurting of their society, it bothers me that they are even called a Pentecostal church.
· We celebrate today because the Spirit is going to help us reach people for Jesus Christ. We don’t have to do it on our own, we have the Helper to help us. Today we say, our flesh is weak, in ourselves we can do nothing, but with God all things are possible.
· We celebrate that when Pentecost fully arrives anywhere the Lord adds daily to His church.
II. Celebrate Jesus over Moses---at this time, Acts 2—the people were coming to celebrate the giving of the law by Moses. It had become the prime reason of the day of Pentecost. This is so exciting to grasp, as they were coming to celebrate the Law of God through Moses, God starting a new celebration day of the Giving of the Spirit by Jesus Christ.
· The law of grace—a new celebrating is in order, the celebration of God’s grace through Jesus Christ. On this day we celebrate the New Testament—not obedience through fleshly rituals, but obedience through the power of the Spirit of God in our lives.
· Celebrating a better than Moses---you are coming to Jerusalem to celebrate Moses- but a greater than Moses is here for Pentecost this year. As Moses gave the law on stone, Jesus gives the law of God into your heart and spirit.
· Pentecost is a new day—the Old Testament gives way to the New Testament—that was sealed in the blood of Passover.
III. Celebration of the Church—today we celebrate Pentecost as the birthplace of the church. Jesus said, He would build His church, and Pentecost is the beginning of the building. It is where God’s people come together on the mission of reaching the world.
· Every church, regardless of their denominational ties must trace their beginning back to Acts 2. It is funny to me that many people will call Pentecostal churches the fanatical group, when every church is to be a Spirit filled church, if a church isn’t Spirit filled and led, it will naturally resort back to laws and flesh.
· The body of Christ—instead of just Jesus ministering from town to town, now the church was going to spread out into all the world. Instead of a few getting saved at one place at a time, now people would be reached around the world at the same time.