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.)
“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.
And the reason was because the expression on their faces had given them away. Their faces were aglow in anticipation of the wealth that soon would be theirs. People knew that they must have found something very special. So a crowd followed them out of town.
ILL. A famous motivational speaker was once asked about his most difficult speech. He answered, "Well, it was when I was asked to speak at a national convention of undertakers. My topic was to explain to them how to look sad during a $20,000 funeral." You see, when there is joy inside, it’s awfully hard to keep it from showing.
ILL. Then there is the story that Erma Bombeck told about a little boy at church with his mother. He was a good little boy, quiet & well behaved. He didn’t cause any problems. But every once in a while he would stand up in the pew, turn around, look at the people behind him & smile at them.
His smile was infectious, & soon everybody behind him was starting to smile back at him, too. It was all going fine until the mother realized what the little boy was doing. When she did, she grabbed him by his ear & twisted it a bit, told him to sit down & remember that he was in church.
Then he started sniffling & crying, & she turned to him & said, "That’s better." It’s kind of sad, isn’t it, that some have the impression that when we come to church that it is all gloom & doom, & that there is nothing here to really bring joy into our lives?
SUM. But Pentecost says that the early Christians discovered joy unspeakable in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Again & again, Paul writes, “Rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice in the Lord always, & again I say, Rejoice!”
PROP. Pentecost was a once in history event, when the Church was born. So let me share with you three things that we learn from "Pentecost."