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 Price of Pentecost, pt. 1 Acts 1:12-14; 2:41
10 days they waited for the promised Spirit to come. When the fire of God fell on those believers and the wind of God blew across their hearts as the spirit of God came down and inhabited His new temple…3k heard the gospel and were saved…
Some make a huge deal out of that fact that in Acts 2 that they spoke in tongues…and they did, they spoke in every language of every person present, that day. Languages they had never before spoken…
BUT that’s not the big deal of Acts 2! It wasn’t a rushing mighty wind or cloven tongues of fire on their heads…but rather the big deal was that 3k people got saved!
I have longing for an outpouring of God’s Spirit in my life… in your life, in this place.
Sometimes, I think to myself; “if only the fire would fall on our church, if only a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit would sweep across our church!”
But there is something that I believe we must understand in the 21st century church, before this will happen. We need to understand that there’s a price to be paid for Pentecost!
We all love to hear our worship team sing on fifth Sunday. Last week the choir across the road sang with power/authority but that doesn’t just happen.
Suzanne nor I run out into the parking lot each Sunday am and grab the first 2/3 people he can find, throw them up here and they make beautiful music.
These slides the recorded music doesn’t miraculously pop up; it takes hours of hard work and preparation to make it happen! There’s a price to be paid, if we’re to do it well!
In the same way, a growing, soul-winning church, making a difference, reaching the multitudes for Christ doesn’t just happen…there is a price for Pentecost! And many churches today are not willing to pay the price, and so they flounder in the sea of mediocrity!
Like the church that sent the annual report for the previous year:
#of soul’s saved-0…baptized-0…transfer of letter-0…by statement-0…
Then at the bottom it said, please pray that we will remain faithful.
I would have to ask; “Faithful to what?!”
The fact is, If any church is going to become an aggressive, soul-winning church; if God’s power is going to be present in EBC or any other church, there will be a price to be paid!…
And the conditions for it are laid out for us in chapter Acts chapter1!
It’s not complicated; it’s easy to understand, but rarely followed!
Any church that makes the decision to become an empowered soul-saving station CAN DO IT,
BUT ONLY IF they decide to pay the price! & there are 4 prices to pay but we’ll only get to the 1st one this morning:
1. The price of obedience
Acts 1: 12 why is verse 12 important?
Because they went there in obedience to Christ in verses 4 & 8.
Had these men gone to any other city they would NOT have experienced the power of God.
Jesus didn’t tell them to wait at Bethlehem…and if they did…they would have missed it…and when the fire of God fell, they were right there waiting for it!
Right where they were supposed to be!
What God requires of you and me…of EBC is not impossible!!
It’s nothing more than simple obedience to Him!
God WILL NOT pour out His power on churches full of disobedient Christians, There is a price to be paid, and first and foremost it is the price of obedience…
From the pulpit to the pew, we’d all do well to realize our personal disobedience can affect the whole body, and keep God’s power out of this place!
Three basic areas that need our attention if we really want the power of God!
1. Obedience in Attendance (Heb. 10:25)
[Hebrews 10:25 NIV] - 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
No church will ever be great where the membership is sporadic in their attendance.
Show me a church whose people come ONLY when they feel like it… ONLY if there’s nothing better to do… ONLY if it’s convenient…and I’ll show you a church that’s just playing games and not doing much for Christ!
Why? Because unfaithfulness in attendance says something about the individual…it reveals a lack of commitment, and a lack of love.
But I don’t want to deal with this from the standpoint of a lack of commitment because people just don’t commit themselves to much, these days.
Let’s look at it from the view point of the lack of love, instead…