Summary: Pentecost Sunday - Contrasting the Fires of Hell and the Fire of the Holy Spirit. The Fires of Hell point to a Failure, An agony of Remembrance and are Eternal. The Fire of the Holy Spirit brings a Fullness, Renewal and are Everlasting!
Theme: Holy Spirit Fire or Hell Fire
Proposition: One of the greatest images of Pentecost is the image of Fire.
Today we can choose between the Fire of Hell or the Fire of Heaven. 1. The Fire of Hell points to a Failure while the Fire of the Holy Spirit brings a Fullness. 2. The Fire of Hell points to an experience dominated by painful Remembrances while the Fire of the Holy Spirit brings to our souls continual Renewal 3. The Fire of Hell points to an eternity of decay, damnation and death where the Fire of the Holy Spirit brings one to experience everlasting growth, agape love and eternal life.
Grace and peace this morning from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
Today we can all celebrate Pentecost! Today, we can celebrate the coming of God's Holy Spirit and the beginning of the New Age in Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord! Today is the day that approx. 2,000 years ago the Lord fulfilled what the prophet's of old had foreseen and preached. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and many others had hungered for the day when the LORD would pour out His Holy Spirit upon all His People.
Today is the day when the Church of Jesus received the mantle of being the witness and bearer of God's Spirit. It is the day when the Church began sharing the message of everlasting salvation and sanctification through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the day when everyone who calls upon on the name of the LORD (Jesus) will receive immediate and full salvation.
Luke tells us that 2,000 years ago Pentecost was a day complete with amazing signs and wonders. There was no doubt that something new was happening. The coming of the Holy Spirit was both audible and visible. Luke writes about the rush of a violent wind heard by those in the Temple. He speaks of the tongues as of fire supernaturally appearing over the heads of 120 of Jesus' most ardent disciples. And he writes how everyone was amazed to hear the message of Jesus spoken in their native language.
Not since the time before the Tower of Babel had humanity been able to understand each other as clearly as they did that day. God's Holy Spirit was reaching out and reversing the curse of separation and confusion. Through the Holy Spirit we today can experience unity and understanding. The supernatural signs we read about here in Acts chapter 2 would be only the first of many wonders that would accompany the breaking in of the New Age.
Let's take some time and focus in on verse 3 where Luke writes about the tongues of fire. Let's see what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal us about God's Holy Fire in our hearts and lives this morning.
The image of fire, perhaps more than any image reminds us of the events surrounding Pentecost. Maybe, it's because there is something about fire that intrigues and captivates us. There is something about fire's ability to bring warmth, its ability to cleanse and its ability to consume things that fascinates so many of us today.
For a few minutes, let's look at this image of fire. But not just the fire of the Holy Spirit but also the Fire of Hell. In our reading found in Luke 16 we see the Parable of the rich man who is suffering in the fires of Hell. In contrast to the unity and understanding that comes with the fire of the Holy Spirit we see here that the fires of Hell separates, inflicts torment and everlasting punishment. The fires of Hell are ones that no one today wants to ever experience.
God's Word tells us that one of those fires is in everyone's impending future - the Fire of the Holy Spirit or the Fire of Hell. All of us will either ask for the cleansing, infilling and empowering fire of the Holy Spirit or we will suffer the tormenting and agonizing fires of Hell.
And while the latter may sound offensive and not be politically correct or seeker sensitive it is nonetheless an eternal reality. Somewhere out in our imminent future every human being will either continue to enjoy the cleansing and purifying fire of God's Holy Spirit or they will be cast into the tormenting and consuming Lake of Fire called Hell forever and ever.
This morning I would like to draw our attention to each of those fires and show how much they contrast one another.
I. The Fire of Hell points to a Failure whereas the Fire of the Holy Spirit bring a Fullness into our Lives
God's Word tell us that any who will be cast into the Lake of Fire go there because they failed to receive the Lord's plan of salvation. They failed to repent and surrender their lives to Jesus as Savior and LORD. They go there because they rejected the cleansing and transforming fire of the Holy Spirit.