Many years ago I read this statement and I have never forgotten it.
It said that the average Christian and the average church are somewhere bogged down between Calvary and Pentecost. They have been to Calvary for pardon, but they have not been to Pentecost for power. Bethlehem means God with us. Calvary means God for us. Pentecost means God in us. J. B. Phillips who gave us the familiar paraphrase of the New Testament wrote something like this a few years ago. He said that churches today are fat and out of breath through prosperity.
They are muscle-bound through over-organization. What we need today is again the wind and the flame of Pentecost. I think all of us would agree that this is true. We need to recapture the power which is so manifest and so obvious when the church met together in the upper room and the day of Pentecost occurred.
This is the day of Pentecost substitutes. Lacking the real power and fire from God we wire to produce our own fire works. We are like auxiliary power supplies, battery operated so when the real power goes off we can switch on our our own power supply and manufacture our own. We are living in the day of program, propaganda, pep and promotions, and all of these things trying to duplicate what God, the Holy Spirit did on the day of Pentecost when the fire fell and the wind blew. These are the days of Pentecostal substitutes. We create a storm of our own wind. We whip our own flames and our own fire, but we lack the reality and the warmth of the real thing. My heart is hungry again tonight to experience in the church of the Lord the power of Pentecost, the Spirit of God in fullness of manifestation. I like what Vance Havner said some time ago. He said the average one of us is so afraid of getting out on a limb we never even bother to climb up a tree. That's pretty true, isn't it. We are so afraid of the excesses. We are so afraid of those who go to extremes in for His people. So, I want to talk for a little while about Pentecostal Christianity. There is a sense in which Pentecost will never again be repeated.
Pentecost was predicted in the Bible. It had a historical fulfillment and in that sense there will never again be a day of Pentecost. I do believe that the power made available to the church at that time can be appropriated by any church, anywhere, who wants to pay the price and meet the conditions of the Lord.
I want to call your attention to verse 1, to the meaning of Pentecost. What do we mean when we use this kind of terminology? We hear the word sometimes today. In the church calendar of many denominations the have what they call Pentecost. There are certain religious groups today who have taken the terminology and they refer to themselves as Pentecostal churches.
What is the meaning of this Bible word, Pentecost? Look at verse 1: ''And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.''
The refe ...
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