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Sermon for May 31, 2020

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Sermon for May 31, 2020

Good morning everyone,,, watching by video.
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Before I begin with my sermon,,, I wanted to begin this morning with an opening prayer and lead into the Lord's prayer like we usually begin our worship service. That way if you like,,, you can join me in saying the Lord's prayer.
Invocation and Lord's prayer
Dear Lord, I thank you for your continued presence among us today and every day. I thank you for those that are listening and watching by video. I ask for continued guidance for them and others. So we ask for healing for all of those that are sick this morning,,, we ask for safety and guidance for our healthcare workers and all others that must work during this time. Lord,,, I pray for all of those that are still working on clearing storm damage and helping others. We ask for comfort and rest for each of them. We also ask for comfort and healing for all that are struggling with the coronavirus pandemic feelings of isolation and for all of us effected by the death of George Floyd. We ask for healing from all these events for our great nation,,, and
We ask these things in Jesus's name who taught us to pray, by saying:
Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever.
Amen.
This morning I'll be reading Acts chapter 2 verses 1 through 21.
I'll be reading from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.
Acts 2:1–21
The verses that I'll read this morning,,, are talking about events that occur on what we call the day of Pentecost. This is the day that the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised,,, would come down for those that were waiting.
Acts 2:1–21
1 When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. 3 And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech. 5 There were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 When this sound occurred, a crowd came together and was confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 And they were astounded and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 How is it that each of us can hear in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites; those who live in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking the magnificent acts of God in our own languages.” 12 They were all astounded and perplexed, saying to one another, “What could this be?” 13 But some sneered and said, “They’re full of new wine!” 14 But Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them: “Men of Judah and all you residents of Jerusalem, let me explain this to you and pay attention to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it’s only nine in the morning. 16 On the contrary, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 I will even pour out My Spirit on My male and female slaves in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will display wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below: blood and fire and a cloud of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and remarkable Day of the Lord comes. 21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
God bless the reading and the hearing of your word this morning.
Let us pray:
Dear Lord,,, as we begin this morning,,, with everyone listening and watching by video,,, we ask that you open our ears to hear and our hearts and minds to receive the message that you have for us today,,, In Jesus' name I pray,,, Amen
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As I told you at the beginning,,, today is Pentecost Sunday.
On Pentecost Sunday, we remember the day the disciples received the Holy Spirit in a special way.
The story in Acts 2 describes a powerful wind and tongues of fire as the Holy Spirit was poured out on people from all over the world who came to Jerusalem to celebrate a Jewish feast.
At the first Pentecost over 3000 people were baptized, creating the first church.
This is why Pentecost is known as the birthday of the Christian church.
The word Pentecost comes from a Greek word meaning fiftieth.
The Jewish Festival of Pentecost falls on the fiftieth day after the original Passover.
And on that day, God gave the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai.
The Christian festival of Pentecost falls on the 50th day after the resurrection of Jesus.
John Wesley said,,, The Pentecost of Acts 2 occurred at Jerusalem during the annual Jewish feast which, in the opinion of some scholars, commemorated the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai.
At the Jewish Pentecost God wrote His Law on tables of stone for Israel’s moral government.
At the Christian Pentecost He wrote His moral laws on hearts of flesh for the moral government of mankind.
The former was external; the latter was internal. The former was legal; the latter was spiritual.
Now that we know some history of Pentecost Sunday,,, lets try to use these scriptures to help us in our daily walk with God.
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Verse 1 says: 1 When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place.
Where the followers of Christ were gathered at this time is not definitely known. Luke simply wrote, They were all together in one place.
John Wesley said in the Wesleyan Commentary,,, "Whether Christ’s disciples were in a compartment of the temple or in the upper room of a private home where they may have eaten the last supper with the Lord, when Pentecost occurred, is not known for certain.
But,,, he says that it seems likely that they were in the upper room of a private home in Jerusalem because of Acts 1:12–14 that says: 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they arrived, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 All these were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.
And he says that Jesus told them in Luke 24:49 in the King James Version,,, to "tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high".
So because of that he is certain that they were in Jerusalem.
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Verse 2 says: 2 Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying.
John Wesley makes mention of the word,,, suddenly… he says "the suddenness of the Pentecostal effusion was resultant from fourteen and a half centuries of preparation, from the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai".
He continues with,,, "God may take long to prepare, but when His plans are completed and the time is propitious, He moves suddenly and significantly".
We need to remember this when we are waiting on an answer from God and it seems like He isn't answering in the time frame that we want.
The Israelite people waited years for this event and possibly some had given up hope that this would ever happen.
My Bible Believer's Commentary says,,, a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven,,, points to the power of the Holy Spirit and the fullness of His coming.
My Faithlife Study Bible mentions that,,, the fact that they knew that it came from heaven,,, lets them know that it's from God.
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Verse 3 says: 3 And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them.
The tongues of fire portray the presence of God.
Several times in the Old Testament God displayed Himself in the form of flames.
It's seen here as the Holy Spirit is ascending down visibly,,, to be with us always,,, just as Jesus promised.
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Verse 4 Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech.
I don't know about you,,, but when I used to think about speaking in tongues,,, I thought about it the wrong way.
I used to think of it as babbling,,, because that's just the way that it was usually portrayed in the movies.
I understand now,,, that if it's a language that we don't understand it will seem like babbling.
We as Christians need to be sure that we don't dismiss the power of the Holy Spirit just because we don't understand.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:27-28 - 27 No more than two or three should speak in tongues. They must speak one at a time, and someone must interpret what they say. 28 But if no one is present who can interpret, they must be silent in your church meeting and speak in tongues to God privately.
You would think that Paul is saying to stop speaking tongues in church but then in verse 39 and 40 of that same chapter he says: 39 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don’t forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But be sure that everything is done properly and in order.
Paul is trying to explain that speaking in tongues without an interpretation can be confusing to those that are hearing it but it doesn't mean that it's something that we need to stop.
He wants us to understand that it's very important,,, especially since it comes from God.
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Verse 5 says: 5 There were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven.
Once the Jews were dispersed all over the world,,, many would make the trip back to Jerusalem for the Passover.
Over a period of many years,,, the Israelites had been carried off by captivity,,, many had migrated away during and after invasions,,, so there were Jews spread out all over the world at that time and many were in attendance that day.
This made it easier to begin the process of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.
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Verses 6 through 12 say: 6 When this sound occurred, a crowd came together and was confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 And they were astounded and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 How is it that each of us can hear in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites; those who live in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking the magnificent acts of God in our own languages.” 12 They were all astounded and perplexed, saying to one another, “What could this be?”
The wording used here, together with the reference to tongues or languages in verse 4 and to the many nations in verse 5,,, reminds us of the Old Testament account of the Tower of Babel,,, found in Genesis 11:1–9.
There, God came down to thwart ill-founded human ambition and pride by confusing their languages.
Here in these verses,,, the Spirit of the Lord comes down to proclaim salvation in Christ by making the gospel understandable in all languages.
John Wesley said in his commentary,,, "those who heard the preaching of the mighty works of God in their own languages by the Spirit-filled disciples felt the mighty influence of that Spirit and found themselves in a state of spiritual ecstasy, for such is the meaning of the word amazed, beyond their ability to understand".
That something supernatural had happened,,, some of the crowd were well aware,,, but what it signified they could not tell.
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Verses 13 through 15 say: 13 But some sneered and said, “They’re full of new wine!” 14 But Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them: “Men of Judah and all you residents of Jerusalem, let me explain this to you and pay attention to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it’s only nine in the morning.
Peter's bold statements here are in sharp contrast to the time when he had denied Jesus three times.
He is able to do this because he has seen the risen Savior Jesus Christ with his own eyes and received forgiveness from Him personally,,, but more importantly,,, he,,, like the others,,, is filled with the Holy Spirit!
In John Wesley's commentary he said,,, "but while some were moved to honest, reverent inquiry, under the Spirit’s influence, others skeptically mocked and scoffed at the divine manifestation, giving the sacred a secular and profane interpretation, saying, They are filled with new wine".
He used this illustration to contrast their different interpretations,,, "a block of ice and a lump of moist clay,,, placed together in the sun,,, react differently,,, with quite opposite results".
"One is melted,,, the other,,, hardened".
"So by the same divine manifestation,,, one person may be melted into submission to the divine will,,, while another,,, may reject that manifestation and become spiritually calloused".
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Verses 16 through 21 say: 16 On the contrary, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 I will even pour out My Spirit on My male and female slaves in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will display wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below: blood and fire and a cloud of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and remarkable Day of the Lord comes. 21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Peter tells the people that they should listen to the testimony of the believer's because the Old Testament prophesies concerning Jesus have been entirely fulfilled in Him.
In my Study Bible,,, it says that not all of the things in Joel were happening on that eventful morning.
The "last days" include all the days between Jesus' first and second comings,,, and is another way of saying "from now on".
The "great and remarkable Day of the Lord" indicates the whole Christian age,,, which we are a part of now.
And the remarkable thing,,, is found in verse 21 that says: 21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Because of the life,,, death,,, and resurrection of Jesus Christ,,, and now the coming of the Holy Spirit,,, which would be available to all believer's,,, everyone has the opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
What a wonderful and glorias day this was!
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This day is shown in dark contrast to the days preceding these days.
Especially the days after the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus,,, and before His resurrection.
When we think of those days,,, the times that they spent in hiding,,, the frightening times that they went through,,, they remind us of the feelings that we have of being shut up in our homes from the corona virus and now of the feelings of sorrow,,, and at the same time,,, the frustration we all feel because of the senseless riots from the tragedy of the death of George Floyd.
All of these terrible events and even other events that some of you are experiencing,,, like sickness,,, loneliness,,, death of a loved one,,, all of the things that can make us feel isolated and alone,,, can be made right by a renewed visit of the Holy Spirit!
A Spirit that can sustain us,,, make us all one with each other as we are commanded to do.
As they were all of one accord in those days,,, taking care of each other,,, we all long for that,,, no matter what color our skin or our nationality,,, if we are Christians,,, we want that for all of us!
We need this,,, we want this,,, and through Jesus Christ our Savior,,, it's available,,, if we just take advantage of it today!
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