(May 29, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to a young man enquiring about Pentecost Sunday…
Dear Dr Robert
You’ve helped me before when I asked questions about the Holy Spirit and Pentecostal matters. I’ve heard that not all Pentecostal churches celebrate next Sunday as it was done years ago. What do you consider the most thing to remember about what is regarded as Pentecostal Sunday? Jonno.
Wish we were having a Bible study hour or so ! However as I share some truths, I’ll particularly direct your attention to something very important that even some Pentecostal churches omit to share.
But first, let me point out the two usually highlighted consequences of that first Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Spirit fell on the 120 Christians gathered in the upper room… as we read in Acts 2 –
1. Speaking in tongues (Acts 2:3-4)
Filled (or baptised as it’s known as) with the Holy Spirit who had been promised by their Saviour (John 14:6-7, 26;16:7c), they immediately began declaring in tongues (call these new languages to keep things simple here) the wonders of God – as verse 11 explains.
Naturally, there’s much I could say here about the Holy Spirit and tongues… that amazing new prayer language (especially as I’ve always referred to it as ‘the gateway to operating in the gifts of the Spirit’).
But in moving on, let me highlight that those in that upper room were so caught up in this amazing anointing of the Spirit, this flowing in worship that their enthusiasm was heard by those passing by down below!
2. Spreading good news (Acts 2:6-12)
Passers-by from some 15 countries were amazed, wondering what had happened and Peter and others immediately hit the streets to witness that the crucified Jesus had been resurrected.
An all-important thing that happened that first Pentecost Sunday was that those first Christians had been given a new effectiveness in witnessing!
Thus began the spreading of the gospel and verse 41 tells that about three thousand converts were added to that small group of 120… and so, the church of Christ was really born that morning!
And evangelism has continued down through history to this day.
Those are the two aspects of Pentecost Sunday that are normally spotlighted… worshipping and witnessing. But please note the third aspect that I consider vital to the ongoing growth of Christianity.
3. Sharing their possessions (Acts 2:44-47)
Acts 2:1 tells that those who had obeyed the Lord (Luke 24:49) were ‘in one accord’ (as the KJV puts it. This is homothumadon indicating being unanimous, of one mind. The LITV reads ‘And in the fulfilling of the day of Pentecost, they were all with one mind in the same place. they were all with one mind in the same place.’
To me the most amazing thing about that first Pentecost Sunday is that they were in common with one another, fellowshipping together and sharing meals: they even sold possessions and gave to anyone in need! Wow! Talk about an army of Holy Spirit-filled good Samaritans!
Know many Christians that willingly and gladly do that today, Jonno? Churches often struggle to receive needed offerings from their attenders, never mind generous members who generously give to fellow Christians that they learn have needs! And without expecting to receive anything in return. And by extension bless whoever they find in need (that ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ matter as mentioned by Jesus in Luke 10:27 and other scriptures).
It’s almost halfway through 2022 already… and we live in uncertain times with increased crime, thieving and murder, new viruses, war (Russia/Ukraine), Pacific uncertainties, financial and other concerns.
We live in materialistic times! Paul warned about dangerous times in the last days, calling them ‘perilous times’ (2 Timothy 3:1-5). I like what Dr David Jeremiah says on pages 79 and 81 in his well-researched 2019 masterpiece, The Book of Signs… ‘According to the Bible, the antidote to materialism is generosity.’ and ‘Generosity isn’t a “one-and-done” situation. It’s a lifestyle’ (emphasis mine).
May 2022 Christians, despite differences of opinion that arise in both denominations and life itself, demonstrate the love the first church had! In whatever way we’re able (the icon above is but a very simple, humble example!).
And of course, keep taking opportunities to share Jesus and serve God assisted by the Holy Spirit now within. We can make a difference! Even as Hope Flinchbaugh‘s Nehemiah – God’s Call to Build the Wall-Part-3/ series and David McGuire’s Practical Christianity- Meeting Needs in Love challenge!
Got a question for either Dr Robert or Pr Maureen McQuillan? Email to OnlinerConnect@gmail.com
William Booth’s song, ‘Thou Christ of burning’ which is set to an English air, echos much of what you share Robert. I quote only one verse: ‘Tis fire we want, for fire we plead, send the fire, send the fire!, the fire will meet our every need, send the fire, send the fire! for strength to ever do the right, for grace to conquer in the fight, for power to walk the world in white, send the fire, send the fire!’