Summary: Today, what I want to offer you is a launching pad...one that lights the FIRE of the HOLY GHOST in each of you with PRICKED HEARTS...the same PRICKED HEARTS they had at Pentecost.
INTRODUCTION...Today, what I want to offer you is a launching pad...one that lights the FIRE of the HOLY GHOST in each of you with PRICKED HEARTS...the same PRICKED HEARTS they had at Pentecost.
What does it mean to have a PRICKED HEART? It is the act of your heart being pierced by “GOD”...ACTS 2:37 says... “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” These men heard the word of God and asked “What shall we do?”
And Peter in VERSES 38 said to them... “38 ...Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
First it says...Repent and be baptizes...then second receive the gift of the Holy Ghost...that is TRUE SALVATION!
And here is where I may get in trouble...but somewhere along the way we forgot the second part!
Again I must say these 2 things...
FIRST... “The world has lost the power to blush over its vice; the Church has lost her power to weep over it.”
SECOND... “I believe that today the world is going to HELL FIRE because the church has lost the HOLY GHOST FIRE, it’s as simple as that.” LETS PRAY!
MESSAGE FOCUS AND PASSAGES...Today we will focus on these 2 verses and the message they provide for us...
JOEL 1:13says..."Gird yourselves, and lament ye priests, howl ye ministers of the altar. Come, lay all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God. For the meat offering and the drink offering is witholden from the house of your God. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly."
Then to JOEL 2:17...“Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare Thy people O Lord, and give not Thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them. Wherefore should they say among the people, Where is your God?"
This world lays in the clutches of sin today...we are fat, bloated, and have forgotten how to weep for the sinfulness that lays all around us and I lay the blame at the feet of God's chosen messengers...the ministers.
We tell them what they want to hear...that God will forgive them if they repent...but we conveniently forget to tell them how to repent...we do not lay out God's righteous and true plan for repentance.
Dr. Carl F. Henry, founder and editor of Christianity Today, sent out a questionnaire to what he called... "Twenty of the most learned and leading intellectual preachers in the country of my day" and he got many responses back.
One of the question that he sent out was this: "What do you see for the church of Jesus Christ by the year 2000."
Now the year 2000 has already passed so we can see just how true the answers were.
One reply stood out...it was given by Elton Trueblood, a noted Quaker philosopher and He said... "By the year 2000 the church will be a conscious minority surrounded by arrogant and militant paganism."
Sound familiar? Christianity is surrounded by militant paganism...Islam...and we may be in the minority.
Leonard Ravenhill a great outdoor revivalist said... “I swallowed that hook, line, and sinker and I woke up about 2 o'clock in the morning with mental and spiritual indigestion. Then I began to remind myself that Christianity was not served up on a silver platter at the start. Christianity in the early church was walled in on one side with the mightiest military machine in history, the power of Rome. It was walled in on the other side by Greek intellectualism. It was blocked ahead by the monopoly the Jews thought they had on God.”
And it is similar today...the faithful few are walled in on one side by mighty armies, ours included, and we have wars and rumors of wars...the Church today is walled in on the other side by the intellectuals in government and everyday life...and it is being blocked by the doctrine and laws coming from the denominations of today's church and the monopoly they think they have on God.
Never before...not even in Jesus time...has the church been so blind and hardened by doctrine and the religious ideas of a few who spout a “Jesus is Love-forgiveness” doctrine of FAITH than today.
Yet for God the sins of the world break His heart...the blindness to true repentance breaks His heart...the arrogance and bloated condition of the church breaks His heart...and the lack of the Holy Ghost' influence in our midst BREAKS HIS HEART!!!
See today we say come to Jesus and He will forgive...and if you come in true repentance He certainly will.