Charles Dickens in “A Tale of Two Cities,” referring to his time said: “It is the worst of times and the best of times.” With the eye of the Spirit, when we look deep beneath the surface, we could see that we are in a time of new insights, new beginning and new calls for the common mission. Globally, it could be the worst of time, Halleluyah, Pentecost time point to the best of times; a time to overcome our general leakages – ‘to clear away the distractions and anxieties and fears from our minds and hearts and allow the Spirit to transform us, clear up our vision and restore our energy to bring about God’s design for our world (Eph5:18). Subsequent to conversion, Acts 2 provides a classical Pentecostal doctrine and initial physical evidence of a regenerated person having received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is about change, the change that took place in the disciples, and the change that took place in the 3000. Pentecost calls us to overcome present distress and and oil leak as in the leaking of the Holy Ghost through ignorance of sin and making peace with sin.
Without the Holy Spirit we would be stuck in the confines of our own ambitions and philosophy hence we become a product of slow leaks that are generally the cause of spiritual decline and backsliding (1Jn 3:24, 2 Cor 1:22, Heb 2:1-3). Without the Holy Spirit ‘we would have no supernatural events (and experiences) as a vivid demonstration and experience of God’s reality and power.’ (Acts 5:6,8). Charles Spurgeon said, ‘a church … without the Spirit is rather a curse than a blessing. If you have not the Spirit of God, Christian worker, remember that you stand in somebody else’s way; you are a fruitless tree standing where a fruitful tree might grow.’ To overcome our maximum human exertions and efforts, the Holy Spirit provides a source of power for mission and ministry, ‘which emanates from God himself in order to make us into radically different people’ (1Tim 1:7) Using the words of Dwight L Moody, we ‘need to be filled with the Spirit every moment of each day because l leak.’ Due to the pressure of the world and sin, we have become a very leaky generation ‘who desperately need to know the reality of God in our experience today – not just in our memories.’ A sense of our pride with the poverty of our knowledge of God could be the beginning of our refilling and transformation. It is not enough to know about God or Holy Spirit without an encounter with him and that is why the Bible says the letter kills but the Spirit gives life and power. According to Samuel Chadwick, ‘the carnal can argue, but it is the Spirit that convicts. Education can civilize, but it is being born of the Spirit that saves. The energy of the flesh can run bazaars, organize amusements, and raise millions; but it is the presence of the Holy Spirit that makes a Temple of the Living God.’
We receive the Holy Spirit by simply receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour (John 3:5-16). One of the inherited problem of this generation and secret of church decline is that, ‘there is a dearth of conversion.’ We need a personal ‘living consciousness of His presence and power.’ Personal Pentecost is the basis to our corporate spiritual rebirth, best time, and remedy to our decline and empty pews, so as to become ‘converting furnaces.’
The question is: HAVE YOU RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT SINCE YOU BELIEVED?