In Acts 2, we have the account of the birth of the church in Jerusalem. It happened during the annual feast of Pentecost, which was 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus.
As promised, the exalted Christ sent the Spirit to His followers so they would have power for the worldwide mission: To share Christ with the world. Of all the miracles God could have sent that day to draw the crowds to Him, He sent the miracle of foreign languages to the disciples, so they could instantly speak the mighty works of God (and Christ) and instantly be understood by all.
Immediately following the miracle, Peter preached the first sermon in the first church.
Two times in Peter's sermon he calls the people to salvation:
· “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” (2:40)
· “But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (2:21)
After the sermon, the people asked, "What should we do?" Peter gives the crowd two things to do:
· Repent of your sins and turn to God (2:38)
· Be baptized in the name of Jesus.
If the people do this, God promises to do two things:
· Forgive their sin.
· Send them the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Look at how Acts 2 ends: “The Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” (2:47) Saved, saved, saved. For three times now salvation is mentioned in Acts 2. I think it is fair to say that the Pentecost described in Acts 2, was a miracle of God, designed for the sending and receiving of a Spirit-empowered message of salvation.
It is unfortunate that Christians debate about what it means to keep Pentecost going. My answer is that Pentecost keeps going in the church that is empowered by the Spirit to see people repent, saved, and added the church (2:47). This keeps the church making disciples too.
To remind our church of our salvation mission, I call the church to be more intentional in praying and sharing Jesus. We will light a candle each week in our worship service when we know of people who have recently believed and received Christ as Savior and Lord.
Lord, help us to light the candle and celebrate with those who have been born again through our Spirit-empowered witness.
John Stott said this in his commentary on Acts, “The Holy Spirit is a missionary Spirit. So a Spirit-filled church is a missionary church. There is no need for us to wait for the Spirit to come. For, the Holy Spirit did come on the Day of Pentecost and has never left his church. Our responsibility is to humble ourselves before his sovereign authority, to determine not to quench him, but to allow him his freedom.”