Summary: 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 then comes Pentecost, & hardly anyone realizes it. It’
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 then comes Pentecost, & hardly anyone realizes it. It’s an important day 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 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 our passage: READ Acts 2:1-16; 22-24; 36-41.
It’s interesting that some of the people who were there thought that the apostles were drunk, because it tells us something of the excitement & joy 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?
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!”
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."
First, we see that the Church was created by God. The Church is immortal. From the beginning of time, before the foundation of the world, God had in His mind the Church. And He promised that even the gates of Hades would not prevail against it.
So Jesus came into the world, & after His death & burial & resurrection, the Church is formed. The Church comes into reality on the Day of Pentecost.
Sometimes we act as if we think that Simon Peter called a meeting of the apostles & said to them, "Now we are here today to talk about whether or not we ought to start a Church." They discuss that for a while, & then James makes a motion that they start a Church. John seconds the motion, & they vote to start a Church. So they start a Church in Jerusalem.
It didn’t happen that way! Did you hear what the Word said? It said, "Suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from. . ." Where? "From heaven." God started the Church! God created the Church. God brought the Church into being, & it is His Church, not ours. We are just a part of it. It is essential for us to realize that.