PRELUDE TO PENTECOST
The opening twelve verses of this chapter give us the account of the last days of our Lord with the disciples. He then gathers them on the Mount of Olives and the Bible says He ascended back to heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth, and for a period of 33 1/2 years worked and ministered and served, died on a cross, shed His blood for the sins of the whole world, was buried and resurrected, went back home. As they looked at the Lord Jesus ascending back to heave, two men in white apparel had said to them:
"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
So in the thrill and the excitement of the truth that the Lord Jesus was
going to come again, these disciples went back to the city of Jerusalem. In the remaining verses of this chapter, we are given the familiar account of the upper room prayer meeting. For ten days they gathered together in a prayer meeting. At the end of that ten days, the doors flung open and they went out into the city of Jerusalem to win countless thousands of people to the Lord Jesus Christ. All of us are familiar with the day of Pentecost. We know that Pentecost is recorded for us in the second chapter of the book of Acts. We know all the things that took place that day. It was the day when the fire of God fell upon believers. It was that day when the wind of God blew with freshness across the hearts and the spirits of those men. It was the day when the Spirit of God came down and occupied his new temple. We know all of those things about the day of Pentecost and we long that in our churches we have a Pentecostal experience once again. But we must not fail to recognize that you cannot have Pentecost until you have the circumstances that produce that Pentecost. You cannot have the power of Acts 2 until you have experienced the preparation of Acts 1. It's a magnificent thing to listen to this choir. We thrill and our hearts are lifted to the heights as this choir sings. All of us recognize the fact that they don't just come out here on the spur of the moment and they don't just happen to sing. Music like this doesn't just happen. There is a great deal of preparation. There is a great deal of preliminary activity that has to go on. I enjoy watching a good football team play. I like to see a team that really functions properly, that has finesse in its offense. But we know that when you watch a good team like that, it's not something that just happens. Eleven boys don't just happen to come together on a field and just happen to make it work that way. It takes days and weeks and, yes, months of intense preparation so we can enjoy the skill we witness on the field. You cannot have the results of Pentecost, and you cannot have a church that is a soul-winning New Testament church until first of all you are willing to pay the pric ...
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