It was so good to be back in our building this morning. Of course, we were following the protocols set down by the governor, but it was so good to see many of our congregation. But in another way, it was a tough Sunday. Not everyone was there. We each have to make that call by our own health, comfort levels, and risk tolerance.
I appreciate the hard work behind the scenes from both our pastor, Jon Porter, and our worship leader, Trayton Griffith. Trayton has been amazing during this time, doing all of the tech, preparing the videos that have been available on Sunday mornings.
Not only are we all still reeling from the scary stuff with COVID 19, but with the loss of life of George Floyd and Aumaud Arbery, the ugly head of racism rears it’s ugly head in our country once again.
But today’s sermon focused on Pentecost Sunday. This was soon after the Son of God was crucified by his own countrymen. I imagine there were similar feelings of fear during that time. Is it safe to be out in the public? Will I be judged and punished for following the Messiah?
In Acts 1:1-21, Luke tells us of the events that took place that day. Jesus apostles and followers find themselves in the Upper Room again. In verses 4-5, Jesus tells them, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Then in verse 8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Then, Jesus was gone. Taken up into a cloud.
I can imagine that they may have been afraid to see their leader whom they had followed for the past 3 years to be taken from them. But, someone had to show them how to go on. Peter may seem to be the most unlikely choice to stand up and preach to the people that day. After all, hadn’t he just denied Jesus when he was given up to the mob that wanted him crucified? By now, Peter has seen that this all had to happen according to the prophecies and the will of God. He saw that it was necessary to replace Judas with another apostle, someone who’d been with Jesus since the beginning and been witness to everything. By asking God to show them who it should be, by drawing lots, Matthias was the one chosen.
On the day of Pentecost, the sound of winds from heaven filled the whole house and the Holy Spirit filled them and they were able to speak so that Jews from every nation were able to understand in their own language! The baffled looks on their faces would be expected. What was happening?
Then Peter speaks to the crowd and explains to them what is happening. This was all prophesied by the prophet Joel. You can read the words of Peter as he shared with the crowd what was told by Joel in Acts 2:14-41.
Beginning in verse 38, Peter says, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
‘With many other words he warned them, and he pleaded with them. “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.’
What a day that must have been for the kingdom of God! Is there something similar in the works now? Will we see a multitude of people now being added to God’s family? I hope so, because the Lord wants everyone to be saved, but he won’t force anyone. It has to be your free will. If you haven’t been baptized, repented, and given your life to Christ, find a good gospel teaching church and get locked into the Word of God. Get yourself a Bible and begin learning about this Jesus who came to earth to redeem his people!
If there is any thing I can do to help you find a church or you need a Bible, hit me up. Milan Christian Church in Milan, IN is a great place to get the Word, but I know there are others. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
I love you all!