“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:1-4).
Oftentimes I wonder what made the early church so different and powerful than the church is today. They didn’t have access to the same resources we have, yet they “turned the world upside down”! (Acts 17:6). There were no seminaries, church facilities or sound systems, nor social media platforms. They were just plain men and women for the most part who committed themselves to fight against the fierce opposition, hatred and persecution they encountered, yet they emerged victorious. The message of the early church, as told in the book of Acts, is that the simplicity of the Christian faith and belief in Jesus Christ is what makes a difference.
Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He instructed the apostles to “wait for the promise of the Father,” (Acts 1:4-5, 8). The result of the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples was earthshaking. These Spirit-filled believers literally shook the gates of hell. The Spirit’s coming upon them was so dramatic that onlookers could not help but be in awe. Scriptures says they were: “Utterly amazed”; “Amazed and perplexed”; “filled with wonder and amazement” (Acts 2:7, 12; 3:10). When they saw the courage of these unschooled, ordinary men, “they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
Does the world marvel at the church today?
Unfortunately, much of the today’s contemporary church is a reflection of the values of today’s culture. The church lacks a clear demonstration of God’s power. God is pouring out His Spirit on all flesh. He has extraordinary plans for His people of destiny. Our natural eyes have not seen, nor has our ears heard what God has planned for those who love Him wholeheartedly. Things never discovered or heard of before, things beyond our ability to imagine. They are only revealed by the Spirit of God who searches all things, even the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
Jesus prays for all believers in John 17:20-26, 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
We must establish a deep trust in God’s love for us and His ability to accomplish all that concerns Him. We are to make Him known throughout whole the world!