Summary: A sermon explaining who the Holy Spirit is and why we need to have a personal relationship with Him, also.
Pastor Bruce Ball
CrossWinds Bible Church
Sometimes I try and picture Jesus walking on the same earth that I am walking on. In historical terms, He was here just a few short years ago. I can understand that by using intelligence, but when I try to use my heart to actually understand, I just can’t seem to do it very well.
I would like to think that if I were with Jesus and He was talking to me, I would listen to every word and soak it all in like a dry sponge, but then I realize that I am just a human like his disciples were. Much of what Jesus told them fell on deaf ears.
As we read in 1 CORINTHIANS 2:14, anybody can hear spiritual words, but only the spiritual of heart can understand them. Before Pentecost, the disciples were mostly unspiritual men trying there best to catch what Jesus was giving them. I am sure that on many occasions, they probably looked at each other and scratched their heads and said, “What did He say?”
Jesus spent 3½ years in almost constant companionship with those men. He was with them physically, but it was not until after Pentecost that He was really with them – spiritually. It was not until the promised Holy Spirit came and indwelt in them did they really understand the concept of what Jesus had been telling them. That is why Jesus said we have to be born again of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is actually unintelligible to the person who is not born again. It cannot be understood at all unless one has experienced the Holy Spirit. See, the Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit. It only makes sense that we need God’s Spirit before we can understand the things of God.
There will always be those that do not believe in God. Some of those people will be of the mindset that they are not sure and they see no reason to spend the energy trying to find out about God. Then, there are some who are actively trying to do everything they can to deny God; to destroy His church; and to persecute or harass Christians.
Then, there is the people referenced in ROMANS 11:5. God says that there is a ’remnant’ of believers, chosen by His grace that still populates the earth. There will always be a remnant of those who truly follow Jesus Christ. These people are the ones that have the responsibility to pray in these last days for others to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Many Christian leaders and pastors have forgotten something very important about God’s Word. The entire plan of salvation, as outlined over and over again in the Bible, has been put forth in such a simple way that even small children understand and respond to it. It is what I call ’the Pharisees Complex’ in mankind that makes us analyze Scripture to the point that hardly anybody understands it. It is this worldly need of ours to be in charge; to be on top of things; to be the boss; the need to be smarter than God that enables us to scare everyone else away from God’s Word.
Some think that the American church has become so focused on pleasing the community around us that we have failed to properly please Jesus, the Head of the church. They feel that the church, in its quest to become bigger and bigger, has diluted the truth in the bible to an almost inaudible whisper while doing other things that delight those within the church.
Did you know there are big churches that have installed Olympic sized swimming pools and professional sized basketball courts in their church “compounds”? I know that this will draw more people to the church, but my question is: For what purpose do they come? Do those people come to hear God’s Word or do they come to play?
There are churches that actually have Starbucks franchises in them so people can come and drink coffee in courtyards and coffee shop type rooms rather than being bothered by going into the sanctuary to worship the Lord God. I wonder what God thinks about those people? I wonder what God thinks about those church leaders who do such things?
In ROMANS 8:28, we are told that God will use everything for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, so I know that God can use a swimming pool or a Starbucks to introduce Jesus to new people, but I would be very careful just accepting these things as okay for everyone.
There are some who don’t care one way or the other; they just come to church so they can pretend they are righteous Christians. Never mind that their heart and their thoughts are not Godly. Never mind that they are involved in other things the rest of the week that would not get God’s approval. But there they are, week after week, going to church and ‘doing’, but unfortunately, their ‘doing’ is for themselves, because it certainly is not to exalt God.