How do you solve an unsolvable problem? According to Acts 12, collective, fervent prayer moves the heart of God who then moves mountains! The church comes together and seeks the interjection of God into whatever the dilemma happens to be, and God interjects Himself in whatever way He chooses. Praying personally is essential, but praying collectively is an imperative that most churches miss, thus missing the miraculous display of God’s power. What about your church?
There is a sent-ness about Christianity that is built into its philosophical framework, an urgency that is inherent to its design, as well as a dispatch that cannot be denied, even when the secular side of us would like to deny it and even run from it. Christianity is energized by an unapologetic break-out mentality. Our founder made that utterly clear: Just as the Father has sent Me, I also send you. (Before listening to this message, you may want to print out the corresponding map that has been posted for your convenience.)
Is it possible that some terrific experience has been missed due a fear to accept change and challenge? Have you been miserable because your heart is in the past rather than the present? Is your work for the Lord without fervor and earnestness? When is the last time you knew the joy of a daily encounter with God? Maybe it’s time to move back to the future through an old enough old-time religion.
In Acts 11:16 Peter said: I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Do you know how powerful, how magnificent, how incalculable this is? Peter is saying to the whole world that if anyone wants to be the dwelling place of “the Force” they can! The Holy Spirit who was prophesied by Joel, promised by Jesus and sent by the Father will inhabit your life. The Holy Spirit, who is God in us, will inhabit your life and turn you every which way but loose!
I often heard my father talk with pride about being the pastor of an old-fashioned, old-time church. Each week as he welcomed the guests he said: This is an old-fashioned, New Testament Baptist church where we love a fella and preach the Bible as it is for men as they are. It was clear to all who walked through the doors that we were old-time and old-fashioned. Like my dad, I’d like to suggest that we go back to an old-time religion, but that we go beyond grandfather and great grandfather all the way back to Genesis 12 where we encounter God’s version of an old enough old-time religion. Perhaps, you’re ready to go back to the future.
Acts 2:4 says: They . . . began to speak with different tongues, as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out. This seems to be a rather strange phenomenon, doesn’t it, but what does it mean? This is the question asked by the people on the street that day in Jerusalem who witnessed the hubbub. So, what does it mean and how does it apply to life in the 21st century?