Summary: Pentecost was a once-in-history event, when the church was born. So let’s consider three things we learn from "Pentecost." (Powerpoints available - #134.)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this sermon are available free. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #134.)
A. We celebrate the birth of Jesus & all the world pauses to celebrate Christmas with us. We celebrate His resurrection, & most of the world recognizes Easter as a very special day on the calendar.
But today is Pentecost, & hardly anyone realizes it. Yet, this day is important, because Pentecost is the birthday of the Church, & God has given us the wonderful opportunity of being a part of it.
It is in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Acts that we read about the beginning of the Church. The first chapter tells us of Jesus meeting with the apostles on the Mt. of Olives & telling them that they are to be His witnesses to all the world. He also tells them that they are to wait in Jerusalem until they receive power from on high. Then He ascends out of their sight.
So they go to Jerusalem to wait & pray. And now I want to read the first 12 verses, & then skip down to vs’s 14-16. Please listen as I read those verses.
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven & filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated & came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit & began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
“Now there were staying in Jerusalem God fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
"Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes & Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea & Cappadocia, Pontus & Asia, Phrygia & Pamphylia, Egypt & the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews & converts to Judaism); Cretans & Arabs – we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!’
“Amazed & perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’ Some, however, made fun of them & said, ‘They have had too much wine.’”
In the midst of all this excitement, the apostle Peter spoke up & got the crowd’s attention. Then he said to them, “Fellow Jews & all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken of by the prophet Joel…” (Acts 2:14-16).
And beginning with those words he preached to them about Jesus. He told them, “Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through Him, as you yourselves know. …and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross. But God raised Him from the dead…” (Acts 2:22-24).
Listen also to Vs’s 36-41, “’Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord & Christ.’ When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart & said to Peter & the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’
“Peter replied, ‘Repent & be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you & your children & for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.’
“With many other words he warned them; & he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ Those who accepted his message were baptized, & about 3,000 were added to their number that day.”
B. It’s interesting that some of the people who were there reached the conclusion that the apostles were drunk, because it tells us something of the excitement & joy that prevailed on that day.
ILL. I like the story about 3 prospectors who found a rich vein of gold in California during the gold rush days. They realized what a great discovery they had, & decided, "We’ve a really good thing going here as long as no one else finds out about it." So they each took a vow to keep it secret.
Then they headed for town to file their claims & get the equipment necessary to mine the gold. True to their vows, they didn’t say a word to anybody. They filed their claim, bought the equipment, & headed back to their mine. But when they did, a crowd of people followed them.