Summary: A look at the importance of this sometimes missed church holiday.
WHAT’S SO IMPORTANT ABOUT PENTECOST?
INTRODUCTION…Power for the Church by unknown
Power can be used in at least two ways: it can be unleashed, or it can be harnessed. The energy in ten gallons of gasoline instance, can be released explosively by dropping a lighted match into the can. Or it can be channeled through the engine of a Datsun in a controlled burn and used to transport a person 350 miles. Explosions are spectacular, but controlled burns have lasting effect, staying power.
The Holy Spirit works both ways. At Pentecost, he exploded on the scene; His presence was like “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:3). Thousands were affected by one burst of God’s power.
But He also works through the church—the institution God began to tap the Holy Spirit’s power for the long haul. Through worship, fellowship, and service, Christians are provided with staying power.
READ ACTS 2:1-13
I. PENTECOST- THE AWAITED TURNING POINT
The Holy Spirit was something that was promised to the disciples. Jesus had spoken about this counselor that would come. Jesus promised that He would not leave these men alone, but that they would have a constant companion to aid them in all their efforts for God (John 15:26-16:16). Acts chapter 1 records that Jesus commanded the disciples to stay in Jerusalem and wait for this wonderful gift. Jesus promises the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promises these men “power” when the Holy Spirit is given to them and they will be powerful witnesses for Christ in Jerusalem and in the surrounding areas and in the entire world.
So, the disciples wait. It was the fiftieth day of these feasts and they were gathered together. It seems that for these Christians celebrating Pentecost together, the feasts would soon take on a whole new meaning. The Day of Pentecost would soon have new meaning to these people sitting there—they would be witnesses and participants to the birth of the Church. The Holy Spirit came so fantastically.
We find that the Holy Spirit came in the wind. There they were enjoying a meal together when the whole house was filled with the sound of a rushing wind. The Holy Spirit has been associated with the wind before hasn’t it? Jesus talks about the Spirit and wind in John 3:8. The Holy Spirit is like the wind. It goes wherever it pleases and you cannot see it. The Spirit, like the wind, can and is a powerful force. Just ask anyone who’s ever had their roof torn off or a building blown down. The wind is powerful. So is the Spirit. The Spirit came in power this day of Pentecost and everyone heard it.
We also find that the Holy Spirit came in the fire. Not only did they hear the Spirit come but they saw it as well. They saw fire appear and a little flame came to each of them and rested on them. The fire meant something very important. We find in Exodus 3, that when God appeared to Moses in the burning bush—it meant that Moses was in the presence of God. It means the same thing here. The very Spirit of God was among them and was about to take up residence in their hearts. They actually saw the fire come to each of them. They saw that God was there and was about to anoint them to do the work of the church. The Spirit came in power this Day of Pentecost and everyone saw it.
We find that the Spirit came and allowed those who were there to speak in tongues. What an amazing miracle for the beginning of the church! And really, if you think about it—the Holy Spirit was providing exactly what the apostles and other’s needed to proclaim the Gospel. The rest of the passage after verse 5 tells us that there were Jews from 14 different nations around the world. That’s at least 14 different languages that had to be learned so the Gospel could be preached. Through the power of God, these apostles were given the gift to speak and be heard by everyone in their native language. All the thousands and thousands of Jews who were in Jerusalem would be able to hear the Gospel and understand it. Amazing and wonderful! The Holy Spirit came in power this Day of Pentecost and everyone saw it demonstrated.
So, the church was born. The Holy Spirit had now come to rest on the followers of Jesus and they could now go out and do as He had asked them to do—spread the Gospel.
ILLUSTRATION… What is the church?
Russ Blowers is a minister who is active in his local Indianapolis Rotary club. At club meetings each week a member gives a brief statement about his job. When it was his turn, Russ said: "I’m with a global enterprise. We have branches in every country in the world. We have our representatives in nearly every parliament and boardroom on earth. We’re into motivation and behavior alteration.