It has been pointed out to me that last week was Pentecost Sunday but no reference was made to this in our morning service. My apologies – although I hope everyone noticed and appreciated the Pentecost banners at the front of the sanctuary.
A W Tozer once said “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.” What a sad, yet I fear true, observation and let us all earnestly pray that it never applies to CCBC or to our individual Christian lives.
One of our Pentecost banners proclaims the prophecy from Joel, which Peter used to commence his sermon on that day: “I will pour out My Spirit on all people” (Joel 2v28). In fact, Peter introduces this prophecy with the words: “In the last days, God says ….” (Acts 2v17). It is a serious error, therefore, to think that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is restricted to one specific day in the first century. In essence, the last days refer to the period from the conclusion of the Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry on earth until His return. Whilst, clearly, the Day of Pentecost was a unique occasion, we surely need – and are promised – Pentecost outpourings each day throughout the last days. Note as well the words “pour”, as in heavy rain (“it’s pouring down”), and “all people” – this is for all Christians, not just a ‘favoured few’.
It is, therefore, in the sense of the above that we should join William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, in singing and praying:
“O God of burning cleansing flame, Send the fire
Your blood-bought gift today we claim, Send the fire today.
Look down and see this waiting host and send the promised Holy Ghost
We need another Pentecost, Send the fire today, Send the fire today.”
Peace and Grace