Summary: The Holy Spirit was given for the End of Times
Sermon: Fire and Fiery Words Acts 2:1-4,14-21 June 8, 2003
Thesis: The Holy Spirit was given for the last days!
A One day when Charlie Brown stops at the psychiatric help stand to talk with Lucy. He confesses, "My trouble is I never know if I’m doing the right thing. I need to have someone around who can tell me when I’m doing the right thing." Lucy says, "Okay. You’re doing the right thing. That’ll be five cents, please!" Charlie Brown walks away with a smile on his face.
In a few minutes, he returns with a frown. "Back already?" asks Lucy. "What happened?" Charlie Brown
says, "I was wrong. It didn’t help. You need more in life than just having someone around to tell you
when you’re doing the right thing." Lucy says, "Now you’ve really learned something! That’ll be another
five cents please." (William G. Carter, Water Won’t Quench The Fire, CSS Publishing Company, 1996.)
B How many times I myself I have thought the same thing. If only I had someone around to tell me I was doing the right thing. How many times I have wished God would write it on the wall for me so that I would know what I should do, the right thing to do. But like Charlie Brown I have found it isn’t knowing the right thing to do it doing the right thing.
1 The Apostles understood this. They had been told the right thing to do. They had been told what was going to happen but that didn’t help. Peter still denied Christ three times. The Disciples still ran away and hid in fear. They still doubted when they heard that Christ had risen from the grave. They had known the right things to do but it didn’t help, they were still powerless to do the right things.
2 And so at the ascension Christ promised them, not only would they know the right thing to do but he would give them the power by which to do the right things.
C TURN WITH ME IF YOU WILL TO THIS MORNINGS TEXT Acts 2:1-4, 14-21
A Fifty days had passed since the resurrection had passed, ten days since the ascension and the disciples for once are doing exactly what Christ told them to do. They are waiting in Jerusalem to receive a package of some kind from him that enable them to do what they should do. They didn’t know what to expect. They didn’t know what they were waiting for. All they knew is that Christ told them to wait and so they waited and prayed. For ten days they had been praying. It must have been a time of tears, repentance. A time of emptying themselves of their past, their fears and failures and it must of begun to get a little old and frustrating.
1 Think about. Christ told them to wait but he didn’t say how long they were suppose to wait. I mean you and I have trouble waiting thirty seconds for an elevator to arrive. I mean we are standing there pushing that button the whole time wondering when in the heck is this thing going to get here. This is the slowest elevator ever. I could have walked up there and back by now, we could have you know. We could have just walked up that flight of stairs to our destination but we don’t we just stand there pushing that button getting more and more impatient as the milliseconds pass.
2 The disciples though had diligently been waiting for ten days. Can you imagine the whispers that must of begun. “We did hear Jesus right. He did say wait in Jerusalem and he would send us something right?!” “How long do you think we are going to have to wait.” I mean I’ve got crops to bring in, fish to catch. I have a family waiting. How much longer?” Some were probably ready to give up, ready to leave. Some were still praying and waiting. Some were probably beginning to doubt, beginning to question themselves. Did he really say wait? Did I really see him after he had died? Is he really alive? Others remembering Jesus’ appearances had the faith to quietly wait.
B Outside their hidden sanctuary all of Jerusalem was gathering. The diaspora jews from all over the world had journeyed home to celebrate Pentecost. That’s right Penetcost was a Jewish holiday even before resurrection.
1 It was the Feast of Weeks, a celebration of grain harvest and the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai. Most Jews did come to Jerusalem for Passover due to the weather and so when Pentecost came around it became a mecca of sorts with everyone coming to Jerusalem gathering together to celebrate. It was the second most important event of the Jewish calendar held fifty days after Passover. Hence Pentecost which means fifty.