Terry R. Baughman
“And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39).
Pentecost is more than an event in history; it is an experience of the present. Pentecost is more than a memorial; it is a spiritual movement. Pentecost was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the first century, it is the experience of spiritual renewal today, and it will be the definition of God’s purpose in the days to come. Pentecost may define our past, but it also promises a future.
The promise of the Spirit was given to the first generation church, realized throughout church history, and declared to every generation in this age. Peter’s proclamation extended from his present audience to the children of the future, from the immediate proximity to the far reaches of missionary endeavor. Christ’s intent was for the Good News to become a universal message. Jesus’ final instruction was that his followers would become witnesses of this event in the world, “… you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
The commission has dimension in time and space. The phrase “to the end of the earth” has more to do with spatial location rather than the extent of time. The KJV says “unto the uttermost part of the earth,” while the NASB says “even to the remotest part of the earth.” However, the extent of time in the proclamation of the Gospel is revealed in other passages. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
The commission to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” remains as the prompting and promise of Pentecost (Mark 16:15). Everywhere the Gospel is preached, the promise will be performed. “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17). The promise still has power!
Until the ending of the church age, the glorious rapture of the church, and the return of Jesus, the message of deliverance will be proclaimed and His Spirit will be poured out on willing believers. Take the promise at face value. Share the Good News and let the power of Jesus be demonstrated in the outcome.
Receive it today, believe it for tomorrow!
(From the forthcoming book, A Season of Passion: Seasonal Inspiration, by Terry R. Baughman)