Summary: Dealing with a number of issues at EBC led me to a series by Pastor Jerry Shirley which God has graciously allowed me to revise and use to speak to our congregation.
The day the fire fell part2
Last week we began looking at why the Holy Spirit is symbolized as fire and we saw, first, that fire purifies. We also answered the question; “What is God’s goal for our lives.” We saw that God’s number one goal for you/me is that we be holy, above everything else.
Above being happy, above being healthy, above being rich and famous; God desires us to be holy.
But think about this: wouldn’t it be great if we could know that after being saved for a time that we no longer needed to worry about sin? It would be great to know that we just stopped sinning, altogether.
I’m not saying that it is impossible but I would hope that we, at least, become like John R. Rice who, after being saved for many years, was asked if he had gotten to the place where he no longer sinned. He said, “no, but I’ve gotten to the place where I can’t enjoy it!”
You see if we allow the fire of the Holy Spirit to burn away the impurities in our lives we should get to the place where sin is no longer enjoyable and each day spent walking with God is one step closer to becoming pure.
If we listen to the warnings of the Holy Spirit we, like Rice, will no longer enjoy sinning.
So fire purifies. Now let’s look at the next reason the Holy Spirit is symbolized by fire which is because…
2. Fire energizes:
One of the greatest compliments you can ever give a fellow Christian is to say they are on fire for God!
The Bible uses the word “Zeal” and Paul tells us in…
[Gal 4:18 NIV] “It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, (discuss) There are some whose fire is simply for show, much like those fire dancers, who entertain us by dancing around with their batons on fire… Their fire has no real purpose. They’re not cooking with it or warming themselves with it. Their fire is for show only…
Listen to the rest of the verse... and to be so always, not just when I am with you.” What Paul is saying here is; don’t look zealous… don’t look like you’re on fire for the Lord, only when the pastor is looking… only when it’s convenient. Don’t be a fire dancer.
What are you on fire for?
It’s football season. Many are fired up over a school they never attended, never gave anything to nor received anything from. Friends/family will part company…
The church needs to pray for the right fire to burn in us corporately as well as individually.
1. We need a fire for Soul winning
Acts 1:8 tells us that after the Holy Spirit comes upon you “you will be my witnesses!” Not maybe… not hopefully…YOU WILL…
George Whitfield once said; “Lord, give me souls, or take my soul!”
R.A. Torrey “I would rather win souls than be the greatest king on earth, the greatest general that ever commanded an army or the greatest poet that ever walked the earth…my one ambition in life is to win as many souls as possible!”
What’s your ambition?
Are you on fire for soulwinning? When is the last time you brought someone to Christ? Have you ever brought someone to Christ?
I’m not talking about inviting people to a church fellowship.
Have you even witnessed to a single person?
I’m not talking about beat someone over the head with your religion.
“You need to be like me and get saved! Or you’re going to hell!”
(While you wave you Bible in their face, cursing the very ground they walk on.)
Have you at least tried inviting someone to church so they could hear the gospel?
We need to be on fire for witnessing but we also need…
2. We need a fire for service
In Acts 2 verse 2 they were “sitting” but when we come to verse14 “sittin” time is over “But Peter, standing up with the eleven,”
The Holy Spirit of God will get you up off of your back pew and show you how you can get involved. He will empower you to do something productive with your life! BUT ONLY IF YOU LET HIM!
The Holy Spirit is symbolized by fire because: Fire Purifies…fire energizes…
3. Because fire spreads!
Notice that the Flame divided into individual flames, spreading to each disciple present...
Here’s the harsh reality. It should all start with your Pastor.
Of course John Wesley once said, “let the preacher get on fire and people will come to watch him burn!”
But seriously, I must admit that with things as they have been the last couple of years, my fire is not blazing as it once was. I’ve spent so much time putting out, unnecessary, fires and playing referee that my fire has begun to dwindle down to a flicker.