The Pentecost

Who here today can tell me what this day means to all Christians? Probably not something all Christians are totally aware of but, nonetheless, it is an important part of the history of our church and therefore should be taught.

Today, is The Pentecost… originally known as The Feast of Weeks or Shavuot to the Jewish community. The name Pentecost comes from the Greek word for 50, but the Jewish name is Shavuot… meaning weeks of sevens.

To the Christian people, this celebration takes place on the 49th day, or seventh week, after Christ’s resurrection

Before Jesus began His ministry, God’s people were generally considered as the Israelites as they were the only people that continued to follow Moses’ law which had been handed down to Him by God Himself.

For many years they followed the teachings, commandments, rites and ceremonies of the Old Testament considered then to be the Torah or Laws of Moses.

Christ’s Ministry

As Christ began His ministry, his lessons were directed or intended for all mankind. He didn’t limit His lessons to only the Jews but to all of us. He made this very clear to us in the book of Matthew as He was dining at Matthew’s house who, before becoming a Disciple, was a tax collector himself.

Matthew 9:10-17 – “While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’

On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

“But sinners!” This word encompasses all others, not following the Laws of Moses nor the Commandments handed down by God. This is us!

Christ had not been sent by His Father in Heaven to free the Jews from slavery and bondage. He was sent, instead, to save “All sinners” from ourselves and from eternal damnation.

After He had been turned over to the gentiles by His own people for crucifixion, and arose from the dead to reappear to his Disciples and many others, He gave them this instruction:

Acts 1:4-5 – “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘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.’”

As Jesus had been filled by the Holy Spirit during His baptism, so too would His Disciples be filled.

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

Acts 2:1-13 – “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?

Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!’ Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’

Some, however, made fun of them and said, ‘They have had too much wine.’”

How magnificent and glorious was this? God had sent down The Holy Spirit to fill the Disciples, providing them the powers and abilities to address all nations in all languages!

It should be clear for us to see the meaning of Pentecost is God’s equipping His church with the power of His Spirit so that He will be glorified among all nations.

Pentecost marks the powerful beginning of a global movement of the power of God’s presence sweeping across the earth. As we read the account of what happened as the Spirit descended with power on God’s people, place yourself in their midst. Imagine what it would look like, sound like, and feel like to witness firsthand such a powerful movement of God’s Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is our greatest gift. When the disciples received the Spirit, they began living as Jesus did. They began speaking to, healing, and transforming a world that had known no restored relationship with their Creator since Adam and Eve.

And Scripture makes it clear that our lives are to follow their example. We’ve been given the same Spirit as the disciples, who moved so powerfully in revealing our loving heavenly Father to a world in desperate need of relationship with their Creator.

Christ has built His church, as it was told in Matthew, and had chosen Simon Peter as it’s “Rock” after he called Jesus “The Messiah, the Son of the living God…”

Matthew 16:17-18 – “Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’”

God Commands Us

So, what does it all mean to us? We all believe. We all have faith at least that the size of a mustard seed. What does God expect from us now? What has Jesus commanded us?

Matthew 5:15-16 – “’You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’”

We are here to bring the word of God to all people. Should they be willing to listen, we will teach them as we all understand. We will be “The Light” shining unto others that they too, like us, can see the glory of our God!

We will never be embarrassed or ashamed of our beliefs for God has invited us, the gentiles, into His Mighty Kingdom to live a life of eternal peace and glory.

Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

Read your Bible, study the Gospel. There are many lessons to be learned. Some, we know from our own up-bringing and some we still need to learn. Study the scripture and try and understand the meaning in each and every verse. The lessons from God. The lessons from Christ.

We are His church and, with that, comes a great responsibility. We are blessed enough to have been saved but there are others, far less fortunate, who need God so, so badly. Be there for them as, in doing so, we are there for God.

In Conclusion

Today is The Pentecost… the birth of the Church to all nations and all people. We must always remember this day as it was taught to us through the Gospel as the day God opened-up His loving arms to us all. After Christ had sacrificed Himself for all our sins and instructed us on how to love one another, we too have the opportunity, to be one with God through Christ Jesus.

Go with God; be good to one another; always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless!