Summary: A sermon for Pentecost Sunday.
Acts 2:1-17, 36-41
“The Church Goes Public”
By: rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of Grace UMC, Soddy Daisy, TN www.graceumcsd.org
Pentecost was a huge Jewish Festival.
It commemorated the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai.
A new day had dawned!
The New had Come!!!
The Law brought death; the Spirit brings Life!
This frightened band of disciples…
…this lost and confused band of Jesus followers…
…were given new life—a flash of insight…
…they finally understood what Jesus had been teaching them…
…and it was time to go public—It was time to start telling the world!!!
And that is the Great Commission of Jesus Christ…
…that is the mission of the Christian Church and of this Church…
… “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
This is our job!
This is our calling!
This is what makes us alive and causes us to thrive!!!
At Bible study this past Wednesday night a few of you were telling me how some new neighbors had moved in behind you.
And one of the very first things you did was to invite them to come worship with us at Grace!
You are fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission!!!
Imagine if we all did this all the time!!!
The Holy Spirit is with us.
The Holy Spirit lives within all of us who believe.
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to witness, to testify, to be ministers of the Gospel together, and to invite the lost, broken and hurting world to come…
…come partake of this glorious celebration!!!
God is alive and God is with us always!!!
Rejoice and worship.
Rejoice and become a part of what God is doing here at Grace United Methodist Church!!!
Leave your depression behind.
Know that there is a treasure that beats the world—hands down!!!
Know that there is a God Who loves You—no matter what the world may say or think!!!
Come and know!!!
This passage shows us with crystal clarity the power of the Cross!!!
When the people realized just what they had done in crucifying Jesus, their hearts were broken.
In John Chapter 12 Jesus predicted, “I”… “When I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
Once a missionary told the story of Jesus to an Indian Village.
Afterwards she showed the life of Christ in slides projected against the whitewashed wall of a house.
When the Cross appeared on the wall, a person from the audience got up and ran over crying: “Come down from that Cross, Son of God. I not you, should be hanging there.”
When we understand, through the power of the Holy Spirit, what God has done for us—we are “cut to the heart,” and along with the folks witnessing the coming of the Holy Spirit of Pentecost we ask: “what shall we do?”
The world is asking that question today, and they are looking to YOU for the answer!
“Repent” said Peter.
What does that mean?
Originally, the word repent meant a second thought.
Which means that the second shows that the first thought was wrong; and so the word meant a change of mind.
But, to be honest, a change of mind demands a change of action!!!
We may change our minds and come to the conclusion that our actions were wrong; but we may be so in love with our old ways that we will not change them.
I remember witnessing to a really good friend late into the night.
Our conversation had convinced him that God calls him to repent and give his life to Christ.
When it came time to ask him for a decision, he told me, “I’ll sleep on it.”
That was over 20 years ago.
Since then, he has lived a most miserable existence—striving after the ‘so-called’ pleasures of this world.
He never did let go of those old ways.
Peter exhorted the crowd to “Repent…receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…”
“he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Not everyone heeded this call.
But about three thousand people did!!!
Not everyone will listen to our message.
Not even close!
But some will, if we do the job God has called us to do!
God’s grace is so awesome!
When we repent, something happens to the past.
We have God’s forgiveness.
Look at it this way…
When we were children and had done something wrong, there was an invisible barrier built up between us and our mother or father.
But when we went and said that we were sorry, the old relationship was restored, and everything was right between us again.