Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

THE COST OF PENTECOST

              The Cost of Pentecost

                                        May 24, 2015

 

 

Luke 24:44-49

 

Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:44-49 NKJV)

 

Jesus came to earth as the servant of all. His most important mission: the salvation of mankind. His job was to restore the broken relationship that existed between man and God as a result of original sin. Having accomplished that mission, he had one more task to accomplish and that was to establish the new and living way of communion with the Father and that was the founding of the church. Today we celebrate Pentecost Sunday...traditionally, the day we recognize the birthday of the church.

God in His infinite love for us won us back and gave us admission into his kingdom but it was at great cost. Our full Gospel church stance that we take here at this church is oft times taken for granted as something without much value, but the facts are that we walk in a new life that came at a great price and we serve in a manner that is   powerful and effective. Until we realize who it is that we are in Christ and how that power can change the world, we will walk on wearing a Pentecostal badge without ever tasting the Pentecostal experience. Today, I want to challenge you to pour in to the greatness that God has birthed in the church that you may pour out into our world and see the miraculous take place, just as those 120 in the upper room took that single event and changed the world forever.

 

 

Worth the wait

 

Acts 1:4-8

 

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:4-8 NKJV)

 

I always reflect upon this scripture thinking about the 120 in the upper room that day and wonder how many people were actually invited that for one reason or another, opted out of the appointment of a lifetime. So many other events in history were a one-time opportunity. Who would trade being on the Capitol mall when JFK was sworn in? Who would regret seeing the meeting of the east and west railroads? How could your eyes “un-see” those airliners crashing into the twin towers on September 11, 2001? Some things in this life carry such impact that missing them would be unconscionable. Who would miss their baby’s birth?

Yet there were probably a good number who were invited to a single life changing event that “had something better to do”.  Being in the Kavod , the weighty presence of the Spirit of the Lord is priceless and whatever time it takes to wait upon that presence, scripture tells us in Isaiah 40,  is an investment with untold benefit.

As those who claim a Pentecostal culture, we should be in constant anticipation of being near that fire. We should long for the opportunities to wait upon the Lord...see our strength renewed, and delivered to new levels of His Glory in our lives.

 

Doing Dumamis

 

Acts 2:22-24

 

“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know— Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. (Acts 2:22-24 NKJV)

 

 

God did not send the Holy Spirit to establish a new social organization. Church was never intended to be an extension of human drama but a departure from it. The Church was intended to be a place of empowerment and effective ministry. Ultimate insanity for me would be to spend the entirety of your day digging holes in the yard and planting seeds that you knew were dead and would yield nothing but to steal your time.

That word “power” that we see in the first chapter of the book of Acts is a word whose derivative is the same one from which we also get the high explosive “dynamite”. When fire is put to the fuse of a stick of dynamite, there is little more you need to know but to get far away from it because it will go off and it will make a sizeable hole in whatever it is near. As a boy, I used to watch my dad blow pine stumps whenever he was developing a new residential section. He would excavate a small hole at the base of the stump and place one or two sticks of dynamite in the hole and run a long cable out to where we were safely behind a truck or some other protective cover. He’d give one good shove on the detonator and we would see stump go everywhere.

This is how our Pentecostal faith should work. The dunamis in us should blow the devil out of anything else. Demons should flee. Disease should die. Prayers should be answered. Remember the book of acts is not an assemblage of cool stories...it is the blueprint for us to check up on the direction of the church.

 

 

Manifesting the miraculous 

 

Acts 5:12-16

 

And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed. (Acts 5:12-16 NKJV)

 

Satan has done an effective job of getting the church’s attentions off of miracles. He has even gone so far as to paint a picture of miracle believing Christians as being “a bubble off of plum”. Now, instead of the common language of the church involving miracles, we have to wait until someone shows up with stage 4 cancer, or needing a heart transplant, or someone’s son is going to prison for life to start a dialog that includes the word “miracles”. Miracles are not the exception in God’s kingdom...they are the rule. The downplaying of miracles in the church comes straight from hell and follows this social order and class church that refuses to recognize the power of God because it affects some kind of agenda. It interrupts our program.

When we reach the place where our very shadows fall upon sickness and sickness departs, we have arrived at the church’s destiny...and those days are coming...make no mistake about it. Man’s church and man’s agenda will be put on the back pew and God will be lifted up as we lay hands on the sick and they recover. God’s glorious church will see the dead rise and demons shudder in the presence of the Lord. Revival is coming ....and its Pentecostal.

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