Thursday, June 5, 2014

PENTECOST: The day that changed the world forever

Today is the 2014th Birthday of the church.
Pentecost was a harvest festival. Jesus converted it into harvest of souls.
Jews believe that that the Old Covenant was given to Moses around 3500 years ago in the wilderness on this day when they were appointed to be the kingdom priests to all the nations of the earth. Exodus19:5, 6.
40 days after the Passover Jesus commanded the 500 who came to witness his ascension to wait in Jerusalem until the power from on high has come. 1 Cor. 15:6
Only 120 men and women obeyed. The Holy Spirit came as tongues of fire on them. Acts 1:14, 15; 2:1-3
Peter gave a short exhortation and people from every nation under the heaven heard the gospel message in their own native tongues. Acts 2:5
They asked what shall we do? Peter commanded them to repent, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit for the transformation of their own families and for the transformation of Gentiles. Acts 2:37-39
3000 families, (Jews only counted the men), were baptized the same day in the name of Jesus. Acts 2:41
Immediately after this they met in small groups where they had interactive apostolic teachings (not sermons); fellowship (koinonia= purpose oriented fellowship); intercessory prayers for the redemption of the lost people (those who sat in darkness and in the shadows of death); signs and miracles; sharing of material blessings with the needy, so much so that there were no more needy among them; they went fishing first in the temple and later at other places and brought seekers to their homes and broke bread (ate food) and shared the whole wisdom of God from house to house. (Acts 2: 42-47)
The net result was that the Lord added new believers to their numbers daily.
This is how our mother church, the original church functioned. It was planted by disciples as trained to do so by the Master himself.
If this model would have been followed, the ends of the earth would have been reached a long time ago.
Evaluate your church on the basis of the New Testament model and see what is missing and take steps to rectify them. This will require a complete paradigm shift.
If they are not willing to change then find the nearest exit door and like Jesus and his disciples go out and seek and save the lost (your oikos = extended household, neighbours, friends, workmates and others) and make them disciples, equip them in apologetics (how to defend their faith in the midst of a hostile world) and fulfil the Great Commission so that they can also go out and make reproducing disciples. Luke 19:10; 1 Peter 3:15; Titus 1:9
The New Testament church does not require special building, special place, special day, special person, special music or special politics or special collection box. Jesus will accept anyone, any place, any day, any gender and any age. From the rising of the sun to its going down, He will be most happy to receive broken and contrite hearts being offered as living sacrifice in a Gentile home. And the angels will be hip hopping all over heaven. Malachi 1:11
Remember where 2 or 3 gather together in his name, Jesus is present in their midst and it constitutes a church. Matt. 18:18-20
Your ministry should result in your city/nation filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Hab. 2:14
Here is good definition of a church: It is a place where the lost are sought and brought to repent, get baptized, empowered, equipped and sent out as fishers of men to repeat the whole process wherever God has placed them. Matt. 28:18-20
Here is another one: The church is a factory where the raw material is a sinner and the final product is saint that goes out to start another factory.
Anything less is flawed.
So celebrate this Pentecost ( 2nd to 8th of June 2014) and every Pentecost with baptism of at least 3000 souls. If Peter could do it without any of the modern day facilities, then why not you? After all, you believe in a God for whom nothing is impossible and it is the same Holy Spirit that is operating today. All you need is a good kick in the b.... to get you out of the pew and celebrate Peter style Pentecost.