The change of Pentecost
“THE ADVENT of the Holy Spirit occurred at Pentecost almost 2000 years ago. That event brought about significant change in the lives of the 120 followers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
“We, as the present-day followers of our Lord, have to continue Pentecost.
“Continuing Pentecost means that we become changed from fearful followers to believers who speak for Jesus. It means leaving our comfort zones and taking risks for our Lord.
“Continuing Pentecost means that we challenge others, including the Samaritans who live among us – the undesirables and those with whom we presently have no dealings – and introduce them to Jesus Christ.
“Continuing Pentecost means that we confront Satan and the evil he so craftily wields in his attempt to take as many of us as he possibly can to hell with him.
“Let us pray to our heavenly Father that He will give us a Pentecostal experience so that we will be changed to witness to others, that we will challenge the Samaritans among us, and that we engage in spiritual warfare as we confront Satan and his evil kingdom.”
This portion of the sermon preached by Reverend Pearson Blackman at Ebenezer Methodist Church, St Philip, on May 27 (Pentecost Sunday) could well be considered the gist of his message.
His was a message that laid out the foundational truths and importance of The Festival Of Pentecost, and sought to remind believers of their Christian duties in relation to Pentecost.
Blackman told an attentive congregation that Pentecost took on new significance in New Testament times, as it was 50 days after Jesus Christ’s resurrection that a promise He made to his disciples was fulfilled.
“This promise was fulfilled at Pentecost as the 120 disciples were in an upper room, and were in one accord with each other. The Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues . . . .
“As a result of this manifestation . . . Peter delivered a powerful sermon. [His] words convicted many, and 3 000 were added to the Church.”
Blackman told his congregation during the special service also honouring 21 of the church’s senior members that “the advent of the Holy Spirit in the disciples’ lives saw a significant departure from their normal behaviour.
He said that during the period preceding Pentecost, they often met behind closed doors being afraid of the Jews. But he stressed that the coming of the Holy Spirit transformed them from fearful individuals into courageous and faithful witnesses who boldly proclaimed the wonderful things that God had done through Jesus.”
He said that unlike those first disciples, “we as Christ’s followers have no reason to fear the anger of a hostile audience as we witness to others”.
“Yet,” he noted, “we cower behind the walls of our sanctuary and our homes as we refuse to leave our comfort zones. For too many of us, our witnessing is confined to the walk or drive we take on a Sunday morning as we attend the worship in this building!
“Those who see us know, by our dress and the hour of our leaving, where we are heading. Many do not see the fruit in our lives nor hear the talk from our lips that we are followers of Christ,” Blackman said.
“Continuing Pentecost means that we be changed from ‘closet Christians’.
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