The book of Acts is about the dawning days of the Christian church. How it began. It’s about the empowerment of the seemingly defeated followers of Jesus after His crucifixion and resurrection.
Jesus knew that his disciples would need encouragement and courage and ability from God to be able to take the message of the Gospel to the world, so just before He ascended to Heaven, He told them stay in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit.
Put yourself in their place. Yes, they had seen and spoken with the resurrected Christ over a period of forty days after his ascension. But they had no knowledge of the Holy Spirit. What was Jesus talking about? How would this happen, and how would they know?
They gathered in an upper room of a house in Jerusalem and spent their time praying. The remaining eleven disciples (remember that Judas Iscariot had been one of the twelve, but he betrayed Jesus and then committed suicide), Jesus’ mother, some other women, and Jesus’ brothers were there, and they waited…for what?
Well, when the Holy Spirit arrived, there was no doubt that His presence was a game-changer. When the day of Pentecost arrived, which was 50 days after Passover, He came into the upper room accompanied by the sound of a strong wind. Note that the text doesn’t say it was a wind. It was the sound of a strong wind.
And then there were what looked like tongues of fire which came and rested on each one of the people. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in languages which they had never spoken before, led by the Holy Spirit.
All of this noise drew a crowd. Some thought that the speakers were drunk, but it was early in the day. Of those that heard, many were from other lands who were not Jews. And they heard what the believers were saying in their own languages.
And then Peter stood up and told those in attendance of the words of the prophet Joel. And he preached his first sermon to them, telling them all about Jesus. And 3,000 new believers were added to the church that day.
What a beginning! What a miraculous event! When the Holy Spirit works through His people, Jesus Christ is glorified and lives are changed.
Every believer is meant to have this experience. Every believer is called to share the Good News of the risen Christ. Whether or not you believe in the Pentecostal experience, God calls each of us to be a light to the world with Jesus’ message of hope and salvation. That is your call and mine. Jesus said, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
Wherever you are, you are called to share.