My good friends Ben Hayes and Travis Creasy have a terrific ministry (benandtravis.com). They have regular social media posts, podcasts, blogs and much more. This year they asked people to comment on the best gift they received at Christmas this year. I enjoyed reading the comments. This got me to thinking, "What is the best gift you have ever given to someone? What is the best gift you have ever received? How old were you when you gave or received these gifts?" Some of us will be waiting in lines to return items this year while others are enjoying their perfect gift. For the past few weeks I have used this space to talk about God's greatest gifts. We often forget that God is in the gift giving business. When God gives us things... what happens? Usually revival.
What Happens When God Gives Salvation & His Spirit? In 33 A.D. on Pentecost the greatest revival took place. No other revival came so sudden, none was so tremendous and none had such lasting results. Conversions took place every day, every important city was impacted, and in just a few years the entire world knew of Christ and His church. Someone might ask, “Why was that the perfect time?” It was the darkest and bleakest time in history.
Why Did The People In The First Century Need Revival? First, there was a lack of moral living. Corruption was at an all time high. There were problems with incest, adultery, dishonesty, and homosexuality. Religion had moved away from God. The pagans were worshipping foreign gods. The Romans were about to start worshipping the emperors. The Greeks were worshipping their own gods. The Jews were involved in ritual worship, hypocrisy, and traditions of men. And maybe worst of all, the people lived only for themselves. Does that sound familiar? It sounds like today, doesn't it?
Why Did This Revival Happen on Pentecost? I believe that the origin of Pentecost is significant. This feast was observed early in the third month on the 50th day after the offering of the barley sheaf at the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Pentecost was the third great Israelite feast mentioned in Leviticus 23. Since there was only 50 days between the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) and this feast, most men would stay in town and visit family. It was really like a social event, that is why so many people were in town. This specific Pentecost was also significant. The OT Pentecost occurred fifty days after Israel left Egypt and the Passover lamb was slain. This NT Pentecost occurred fifty days after Christ rose from the dead, the Lord being our Passover Lamb. The OT Pentecost celebrated the birth of the nation Israel (Exodus 19:5). The NT Pentecost celebrated the birth of the church (Acts 2:41-47). The OT Pentecost witnessed the slaying of some 3,000 souls (Exodus 32:28). While the NT Pentecost witnessed the saving of some three thousand souls (Acts 2:41). Ironic? No way.
What Is Significant About The Gift of the Holy Spirit? The gift of the Holy Spirit fulfilled God’s promises (vs.1-21). The sending the Holy Spirit was fulfilled (Joel 2), the sending the Messiah was fulfilled (Genesis 3), the establishment of His church was fulfilled (Matthew 16), and His Word was fulfilled (Isaiah 40). The gift of the Holy Spirit came in order to conquer death (vs.22-36), is why we repent and are baptized (vs.37-39), brought real fellowship and unity (vs.40-45), and effected the daily living of God's people (vs.46-47). They needed this revival.
No gift compares with the gift of God. Especially a free gift! The people present that day thought they killed a guy, but they killed God's Son! They thought they killed a carpenter, but they killed the Christ! They repented and were saved. What happened next changed the world! They went around the world telling people about Jesus and spreading the gospel. Has God saved you? Has He blessed you with gifts? Are you revived?
Hear the gospel. Obey the gospel. Share the gospel. Have a great week!
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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