Finishing the Way We Started: In the Power & Spirit of Pentecost
Finishing the way we started - Finalize in the Spirit and Power of Pentecost
The world we live in is riddled with social, political, and economic problems that look that they will drown out its population. There are wars, rumors of wars, poverty, injustice, racial tensions, political divisions, and issues of sex, gender, and confusion in many aspects of life in society.
The church, the body of Christ, in this world so confused and full of evils, must continue to be that catalytic element that increases the reaction of change, without undergoing a permanent change itself.
Jesus Christ already announced it when he declared that not even the gates of hell will prevail against the church. For about 1989 years the church continues its work, and although at times it seems that it will be brought down, this will not happen because Jesus also declared "And upon this rock (He being the Rock -1Peter 2:4,6) I will build my church"
Nothing that happens in the world takes God by surprise, He knows all things, and although it seems that the situation is hopeless, we have already read the end of the story and we know that we are winners.
This brings me to the theme: “Let Finish the way we started - Finalize in the Spirit and Power of Pentecost”.
How did the church of Jesus Christ started almost 2,000 years ago?
When we talk about finalizing, we are talking about something about to end, we are reaching the culmination. In the church we talk about the end and this takes us to the end times. The Bible is full of references to what will happen in the end times: bad things and good things.
I. Let's talk about the bad things first.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
2 Timothy 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
Jude 1:17-19 “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”
The Character and Conduct of Men in the Last Days
Romans 1:18-32 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give him thanks, but they became vain in their reasoning and their foolish hearts were darkened.
The signs before the coming of Christ
Science would multiply
Daniel 12:4 You, Daniel, keep these things secret and seal the book until the last hour, for many will wander from one side to another in search of any knowledge.
It is said that science, knowledge and the discovery of new things, to duplicate before it took a hundred years or more, then it dropped to 50 years and today it is said that it duplicates in a matter of a few years and in certain cases in a matter of months (Example cell phones)
II. Let's talk about good things
Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations; And then the end will come."
Who will preach this gospel - Luke 10:2 “And I said to them, The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest.”
Since the time of Jesus Christ Himself, the cry has been that there is a lack of workers and we must pray to the Lord to send workers.
It means that in the last times there must be a multiplication of workers like in no other time.
If we analyze the lists of our workers, we will find that our pastors are or are getting older. In the United States the median age of pastors has increased from 44 years to 54 years in the last 25 years (according to a Barna report - The State of Pastors.)
In 1992, 3 out of 100 pastors were women, today 7 out of 100 are women.
III. The promise
Joel 2:28-29 “After this, I will pour out my Spirit on all mankind. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, the elderly will have dreams and visions the young. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even over male servants and female servants.
The spirit of Pentecost is inclusive
All flesh sons and daughters (boys, girls)
elderly- old women (fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers)
Juniors - Ladies
servants - maidservants (may be young)
The children will prophesy, proclaim the Word loudly, with art, with dance, with music, with drawings, with whatever is possible.
The old men and women will dream dreams.
What kind of dreams?
To dream that our sons and daughters serve God and that we intentionally enable them to work. How do we do that?
Very easy. I learned this from a children's leader. He said if parents or an adult wants to teach a child to make a bed, he must do the following:
He takes the child with him. As he makes the bed, the boy watches.
Then he asks the child to help him, while he directs the action, the child helps
Some time later, he leaves the boy to make the bed while he helps him
finally, he leaves the boy to make the bed while he watches.
If we as a church are going to Finalize in the Spirit and Power of Pentecost, we have to capitalize on our efforts in the emerging generations. According to the PEW Foundation, the average age of the Hispanic population in the United States is 28 years old. Our churches should reflect that reality. The African American average is 35 years age and the white population 58years.
We are 57.8 million Latinos or 18.1% of the total population. Six out of ten Latinos are under 35 years of age, that is, 60% of the Latino population is under 35 years of age.
Pastors and adult members of our church must dream that our young people rise up to plant new churches that reach these generations with a methodology that appeals to them. The message is the same, the packaging is different.
Women are included in the groups - daughters, youth, servants and elders.
If the present Church of God is going to finish the task of evangelization we have to fully include them in all church business once and for all.
If we need ladies pastors, they are there.
If we need District Pastors, they are there.
If we need supervisors, they are there.
If we need members for the Regional council, they are there.
If they can be Regional supervisors….
They can be a member of the council of 18.
One question: What is more difficult to lead a meeting of ministers or to deliver a baby?
It is obvious that the second is more difficult, however, God entrusted the task of bringing “the Word”, the Incarnate Word, to this world, to a woman and not to a man.
If God entrusted a woman with one of the most delicate tasks, or the most delicate task in relation to the church, why do we put so many obstacles for women to develop any work within the church?
Both in the Old and New Testaments things were done that we do not understand. For example, when people were counted, for some reason they didn't count women and children. If we did the same, in many cases we would be left without congregations, and in the best of cases, the congregation would be reduced to less than half. There would be no women to help with everything they need in church.
If we are really serious about what we say in our annual or bi-annual themes and preach very nice sermons full of emotion, but we don't change our actions, our methods, even our systems, we will remain the same.
It is time for the Church of God in the United States to enable hundreds and thousands of people in our churches to do the work of the ministry without putting too many obstacles.
My dream is to see teams of young millennials planting new congregations that attract dozens, hundreds and thousands of young people to those congregations, where they are not only given lights, sound, dance and other things, but also so that they are discipled to send them to open new works, or send them to the mission field in groups of 2, 4, 8 and even 10 to help the evangelization of other countries where they may not be able to evangelize in the traditional way, but using creativity, using modern technology to spread the Gospel.
Some may tell me, but, brother, the youth are very fickle, they change a lot, they don't follow things up. All I can think of is John Mark, when Barnabas and Saul took him on the first missionary journey and were turned back halfway.
The second trip is coming and Bernabé wants to take Juan Marcos back
but Pablo vehemently opposes him and they decide to separate and go their own way. Barnabas takes Juan Marcos and over time, we see that Juan Marcos becomes an important piece in the early church.
Paul recognizes the importance of it and sends to ask that it be sent to him because it was useful to him for the work of the ministry. He served as her companion in prison. Pedro calls him his son. John Mark accompanies Peter and from the preaching he hears from Peter, he writes the Gospel according to Saint Mark.
All this happened because someone believed in him and gave him a second chance.
Let us leave here with the desire and intention to form a spiritual revolution by empowering our youth and women to help us finish the work we have in the Spirit and Power of Pentecost.
“Let us finish our task the way we started”