Jesus Christ said to his disciples: “But you will receive strength when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1: 8
Pentecost means to me: Jesus Christ has fulfilled his promise one hundred percent. What HE promised to his disciples on Ascension Day will be fulfilled in Jerusalem. God comes with indescribable power and starts with his plan of salvation. It is the birth of the Christian community. The Gospel is available to all people. And at the same time all people should know that God loves them. God is love. Love manifests itself in the Lord Jesus Christ. All people should have the chance to get a new life through God's spirit. Saved from sin and eternal death.
Pentecost has nothing to do with rapture and mass hysteria. Already the apostle Peter defended himself against the accusation that the Pentecostal church was intoxicated by the spirit of sweet wine. The opposite is true: Pentecost is a celebration of a clear understandable language and speech. What Peter preached was so clear and distinct that as a result three thousand people were baptized. This sermon struck right into their hearts. So that hearts burned for the Lord Jesus Christ.
I realized a few years ago during a visit to London, how God´s spirit is able to work. My wife and I took a stroll through the city when we landed in Aldersgate Street, without realizing it. Suddenly, we noticed a plaque on a building with the description: “John Wesley Conversion Place Memorial – The Aldersgate Flame“. John Wesley was a theologian and preacher in the 18th century. And of course later on he became the founder of the Methodists.
The plaque on the building described what John Wesley experienced on the evening of May 24th , 1738: “In the Evening I went with quite some reluctance to a Christian society in Aldersgate Street, where somebody was reading Luther´s Preface of the Epistle to the Church in Rome. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change in the hearts, which GOD provides through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt that I trusted in Christ; Christ alone for Salvation: And an Assurance was given to me, That He had taken away my Sins, even mine, and saved me from the Law of Sin and Death.”
This was the decisive turning point in John Wesley´s life. The very next day John wrote into his diary: "If you believe, why is there no marked change?" This question shows how much he was searching for an answer, how faith in Jesus Christ can and should become visible.
John Wesley then started to read the Bible intensively. Next came praying together and practical ministries for the poor, sick, unemployed and prisoners as important steps to him. Out of a burning heart for Jesus which this young student experienced on the evening of May 24th1738, evolved a great revival that later changed the lives of so many people. Within a few decades it had transformed into a worldwide evangelical free church, which also reached America.
What Jesus Christ promised, became a reality during all times in many places in this world. John Wesley is only one example of many others. Even today, God continues to build his church through the power of the Holy Spirit. This power creates an impact on people and changes their lives.
The level of energy which the Spirit of God unfolded in John Wesley is incomprehensible to me. As a preacher, he traveled 250,000 miles on horseback to deliver 40,000 sermons. He gave away 30,000 pounds of money from his private wealth to the needy.
Without the Spirit of God, we are blind to the truth. The Spirit of God opens our eyes, ears and hands. He transforms our old existence into a new existence. The apostle Paul puts it this way: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5, 17)
That is why I love to provide space in my life for the Spirit of God. The new should grow, should mature. Pentecost reminds me of this: The Holy Spirit wants to make us passionate disciples of Jesus. His power awakens the joy for the Word of God. His power brings peace into our heart and peace for our relationships. His energy makes us capable of offering the love of God to others. The Holy Spirit wants to help us to spread the best news of all times to all people.
I wish you that the Holy Spirit will also warm your heart and fill your life with his power. God bless you!