Summary: Acts Series, 4th sermon--PAYING THE PRICE OF OBEDIENCE..."Spiritual ATM"= Attendance/Tithing/Ministry
The Price of Pentecost, pt. 1
Acts 1:12-14; 2:41
10 days they waited for the promised Spirit to come. We read in that last verse about the day of Pentecost…when the fire of God fell on those believers/the wind of God blew across their hearts/the spirit of God came down and inhabited His new temple/3k heard the gospel and got saved…
Charismatics emphasize in Acts 2 that they spoke in tongues…and they did (sign)…but that’s not the big deal of Acts 2/not a rushing mighty wind/not cloven tongues of fire on their heads…but rather that 3k got saved!
We’ve been reading and studying about the great things which happened to the NT church in Acts, and we’ve been longing for it ourselves…we say, if only the fire would fall on our church, if only a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit would sweep across our church!
We all love to hear the choir sing, for example, but we need to understand it doesn’t just happen…Bro. Ian doesn’t run out into the parking lot each Sunday am and grab the first 25 people he can find, throw them into the loft and they make beautiful music…rather hours of hard work and preparation go into it, there’s a price to be paid!
(same w/ a softball team!)
In the same way, a growing, soulwinning church making a difference, reaching many for Christ doesn’t just happen…there is a price for Pentecost! And most churches are not willing to pay the price, and they flounder in the sea of mediocrity!
Ill.—church sent annual report to their headquarters for previous year: # of souls saved-0/baptized-0/transfer of letter-0/by statement-0…then at the bottom it said, please pray that we will remain faithful. (faithful to what?!)
Fact is, to have an aggressive, soul-winning church w/ God’s power on it, there is a price for Pentecost!…and the conditions for it are laid out for us in ch. 1! (not complicated, basic, easy to understand, but hardly followed!)
Any church that makes the decision to become an empowered soul-saving station can, if they just decide to pay the price!
4 prices to pay, only the 1st this morning:
The price of obedience
v. 12 why important? Because they went there in obedience to Christ (v. 4, v. 8)
They could have gone to any other city, and not experienced the power of God. For Jesus didn’t tell them to wait at Bethlehem…they would have missed it…and when the fire of God fell, they were there, right there waiting for it! Right where they were supposed to be!
We see this elsewhere in scripture, too…where God says, meet me at a certain place, and I will bless you:
Elijah (brook Cherith, fed him during famine by ravens)
I believe he could have gone anywhere else, even a place not in famine, and yet would have starved to death!
Naaman (leper, dip in Jordan) Why in muddy Jordan?
But it wasn’t a hard thing God was asking of him, he obeyed, and was made whole!
It’s not hard what God requires of us…just simple obedience to Him! Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if the Lord would always find members of GBC “there”…where God has told them to be!? Where is there? In God’s will!
God doesn’t pour out His power on churches full of disobedient Christians. There is a price to be paid, and it is the price of obedience…from the pulpit to the pew, we’d all do well to realize our disobedience can affect the whole body, and keep His power out of here!
Three basic areas to start: (if we really want the power of God! If we really want to cash in on what God can do…and you’ll remember this later because of the acrostic “ATM”)
1. Obedience in Attendance (Heb. 10:25)
No church will ever be great where the membership is erratic in their attendance.
Show me a church whose people come sporadically, only when the feel like it, if there’s nothing better to do, if it’s convenient…and I’ll show you a church that’s just playing games/not doing much for Christ! Why?
Because unfaithfulness in attendance says something about you…it reveals a lack of commitment, and a lack of love.
But let’s not deal w/ this from the standpoint of a lack of commitment (people don’t commit these days…unless they really want to! We can do what we want!!)
Think about the lack of love, instead…
Ill.—preacher visited in home/noticed they had little housedog/noticed they lavished love on the dog to an extreme/ “I can’t get over how much you all love that dog! You’d make great parents…maybe you should have a child to show all that love to!”/woman started weeping and ran out/pastor knew he had said something wrong, apologized to husband/ “there’s no way you could know, but we had a son, and God saw fit to take him to heaven at a very young age…but that dog was our son’s dog…it may seem silly, but the reason we love on that dog in such a way, is that’s our way of showing love for our son…preacher, we love that dog so much simply because our son loved it so much!”