1. Present experience One of the things that has encouraged me in my ministry has been the courage of the prophets. One of their principle roles was to remind the people to live faithfully for God and to reject any ‘moral’ standard that opposed what He had revealed. Often the prophets were vigorously opposed as they declared what God had revealed. They were prepared to confront the ruling powers that were leading people away from God and they challenged the people to be faithful to God’s revealed truth.
They never preached compromise!
Isaiah didn’t mince his words when he declared, ‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter’ (Isaiah 5:20).
Amos was told by the leading priest in Israel told Amos, ‘Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there’ (Amos 7:12).
Jeremiah, during his 40 years of ministry was physically attacked, insulted, imprisoned in a hole in the ground, and put on trial for the things he preached were not what the people wanted to hear. The king even destroyed the scroll containing God’s word that Jeremiah had written, but God told Jeremiah to rewrite it.
All those men were threatened and abused because their preaching did not agree with moral and religious values of their day.
We Christians celebrate (or should) our Pentecost this Sunday! Our celebration is the good news that God’s love continued beyond that extraordinary Passover event we call Easter.
Our thoughtfulGod had a further free gift to giveto all who believe in His Son Jesus – the outpouring of His Holy Spirit! That powerful Acts 2 infilling of God’s Spirit as promised by Jesus meant (and still means)…
Enablement – praising God in that special prayer language called tongues.
Empowerment – serving Jesus in powerful ways and touch the world.
Enthusiasm – caring for/generously sharing with fellow Christians, ministries and missionaries needs (See Pentecost Sunday-Shavuot).
(May 20, 2020) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, shares some great Pentecostal insights …
Let me share with you a few recent experiences.
As I was typing this article on my computer today, it suddenly shut down in mid-sentence. That was a little frustrating but after I plugged in the charger, the computer reopened and enabled me to complete the article.
A friend’s mobile phone, which she had had for a number of years, decided that it had worked long enough. It was out of energy! I helped her to buy a new phone and restored the information from her old one. Now she can confidently phone her friends – and play ‘Words with Friends’ – without the fear of a black screen suddenly appearing.
A few weeks ago I got into my car, turned the ignition key – and nothing happened! No noise from the starter motor. No ignition lights on the dashboard. Nothing but silence! I had accidentally left my car door open a little for a couple of days and the battery had drained. Fortunately a friend came to my rescue with a battery charger and soon the car was on the road again.
Dynamite power source!
The similar factor in the above accounts is obvious – that my computer, my friend’s mobile phone and my car failed to work because their power source was missing! (more…)
Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, highlights the primary purpose of Pentecost.
The first Christian Pentecost that took place 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a pivotal event in the life of the church. It celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church to enable it to accomplish the mission given to it by Jesus.
Yet Christians have often either failed to recognise its essential importance or have swung to the other extreme by misinterpreting and overemphasising its significance.
Let’s consider the biblical basis of the importance of Pentecost for the church today.
1. The promise of Pentecost Pentecost had always been part of God’s plan for the world. It was not intended to be a surplus add-on event to the Christian faith to make it more exciting! From the beginning it was central to God’s grand plan for world redemption.(more…)