Summary: The filling of the Holy Spirit is for every believer.
May 18, 2008
Pastor Brian Matherlee
I read about a preacher who wanted to impact South Korea for Jesus Christ. And so he started a church in his friend’s living room. One of the parishioners was paralyzed. And so one Sunday, the pastor went over to her, laid hands on her and prayed fervently. And she was healed! This got people in the community excited. And they started flocking to the new church in droves. Pretty soon, they outgrew the living room. So they put up a tent in the front lawn and had services out there. But soon enough, that got too crowded. And they built a church. By the mid 1960s, they had 3000 people. But one day, as the pastor was baptizing several hundred people, he collapsed to the ground in exhaustion. He was rushed to the hospital where he had major surgery. And while he was sitting in bed reading the Bible, he came across a verse in Exodus 18:18 that moved his heart: It said this: "The work is too heavy for you. You cannot handle it alone. You will only wear yourself out." The next day, the pastor called the elders and deacons. And put each one in charge of a certain number of people. After the pastor did this, the church exploded with growth! Thousands of people gave their lives to Christ. By 1972, there were 10,000 members. By 1979, there were 100,000; by 1984, 400,000; and today, there are almost 800,000 members of the Yoido Full Gospel Church making it the largest congregation on planet earth. They support 85 missionaries from their own church. And they have planted new churches in 39 countries. This is truly one of the most incredible stories in church history. Something equally incredible happened 2000 years ago. On the day of Pentecost a small group gathered for prayer. The power of the Holy Spirit was present. They praised the Lord. Peter preached the word. Thousands got saved. And the church was born.
Ac 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Ac 2:1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2:2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 2:3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Ac 4:31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
Ac 10:37 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
When the Holy Spirit fills us there is…
i. The story is told that John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, changed his view about church division after a dream in which he was first transported to the gates of Hell. He asked, “Are there any Presbyterians here?” “Yes,” was the reply. “Any Roman Catholics?” “Yes.” “Any Congregationalists?” “Yes.” He hesitated, and then said, “Not any Methodists, I hope!” To his dismay the answer was “Yes.” Suddenly in his dream he stood at the gate of Heaven. Once again he asked, “Are there any Presbyterians here?” “No,” was the reply. “Any Roman Catholics?” “No.” “Any Congregationalists?” “No.” Then he asked the question which most interested him: “Are there any Methodists here?” He was shocked to receive the same stern reply, “No!” “Well then,” he asked in surprise, “please tell me who IS in Heaven?” “CHRISTIANS!” was the jubilant answer. From that dream Wesley determined that unity was essential to the church’s success in her mission.
ii. Sunday morning at 11 AM is the most segregated hour in America.
iii. They were going to be witnesses
1. People like them (Jerusalem)
2. People they had previously avoided (Samaria)
3. People they would have to sacrifice to win (ends of the earth)
iv. We are called to love God, one another, and our enemies. Jesus even somewhat chastises those who only love those who love them. Had God loved that way, not a one of us could be saved.
b. Personal plans over God’s plans
i. Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”