Summary: Churches need some good old fashioned "fire" these days....
Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place2And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.3And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: I want to talk to you about FIRE.......this morning we talked about passion; tonight we’re gonna talk about FIRE......Holy Ghost fire....the same kind of fire that consumed the room on the day of Pentecost.
The word fire is refered to a lot in the Bible. I believe it is because fire comsumes everything in it’s path. We have witnessed what fire can do in and around our county, haven’t we? Once a fire begins, it becomes almost impossible to stop. As a matter of fact, I’m sure you’ve all heard of letting a fire "burn itself out’ because they found they couldn’t control it. It only takes a small spark to start a fire, and it’s time for us get on fire for God again. as we were when we came to Christ! It only takes a spark… this church needs to ignite and then pass it on!
Like Moses, at the burning bush, he met the God of fire! We need the same promise, for Him to make of us a great nation…but we’ll have to catch fire…the fire of God! Like the fire Elijah called down from heaven, that later engulfed his heaven-bound chariot! Like the pillar of fire which led Israel thru the night! Psalm 104:4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
And, as promised, in Acts, a flickering flame settled above each of 120 disciple’s heads, making them look like human candles! Talk about being on fire for God!! It was the Holy Spirit--symbolized by fire! Are you on fire for God? It’s high time we come to that place…the “fire place”!
• Fire purifies Num. 31: 23 Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean:
He’s talking about burning out the impurities, much like a silversmith putting the precious metal on the fire.
• Fire energizes Would people say you are on fire for God? If not, you need to ask God for that zeal, fanned by the flames of the wind-driven Holy Spirit of God!
• Fire spreads! We’ve SEEN it, haven’t we? Especially when the conditions are right!
Most of us have had the sad experience of being in a cold, dead church, with no fire……obviously just going thru the motions, heart is not in it...no one really expects anything to happen! (ever visited a church like that? Ever been a member?)
Some say, what we need is some new converts, that’ll set the church on fire! No, what you need is some fire, and there will be people converted! (why aren’t most churches seeing people saved? The answer is found in another question: Can God entrust them w/ new converts?) Charles Spurgeon: “to put new converts into most churches is like putting live chicks under a dead hen.” They need the warmth of “the fire!”
1. A church that’s on fire for God is Endued with power. The pastor & The people
We need power to fulfill God’s purpose…we need God’s power, alone. We can accept no substitute. We cannot depend upon man-made excitement to get the job done/programs, promotions, publicity/repetitive, empty, full of fluff worship choruses to stir the people into some kind of emotional high. None of these things can substitute for the power of the Holy Spirit upon a church.
1 COR 2:4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Paul says, I’m not depending upon my wisdom, flamboyant sermons, or even MY incredibly funny jokes! And no matter what you think of me as a preacher, no matter how "polished" or "seasoned" ANY preacher is, we need Holy Ghost power! Look at Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. I need you, as your pastor to SHAKE THIS PLACE...so we can speak the word of God with boldness. And did you see how that happened? Vs 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken! And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost!