Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.
Welcome to the Soulwinnersr.us website. I entitled my post today “Pentecostal Witnessing, Chapter 1: The Purpose of Pentecost”. It’s based on an old book written in the 1960’s by Pastor Aubrey Maye of the Church of God. I bought the book from my mother-in-law at her garage sale about ten years ago. It’s become a treasure to me.
I haven't posted in a couple weeks for several reasons:
- The holiday season is upon us, which makes us all become busier with decorating, shopping, gatherings, etc.
- I couldn’t clarify in my mind what direction God might have me go with my posts.
- I was distracted by a number of things, one being sports, especially the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, which has become a fun team to follow, post Lebron James.
But I still feel my primary job, after my mental health career was over, is introducing Jesus Christ to people. To be honest, it should have been my primary job during my career, but it wasn’t. I’m not trying to make up for lost time, but definitely I AM trying to recapture my “first love”, which the Apostle John wrote about in Revelation 2 to the Church of Ephesus.
Pastor Maye encouraged readers of his book to read it prayerfully in light of the following questions:
- “What is my personal responsibility in fulfilling the Great Commission”?
- “What can I do to win souls that I am not now doing?”
- “What is my church doing to evangelize its ‘Jerusalem’?”
Pastor Maye encouraged that the first step is to admit that we aren’t doing enough, and back in 1960’s he said, “we must do it NOW”, and, “The only hope for our generation is this: ministers and members alike, full of the Holy Spirit, moved with compassion, telling people everywhere the old, old story that Jesus lives and Jesus saves – even in the twentieth century” (now the twenty first century).
Let’s dive into this wonderful little book, starting with Chapter 1; “The Purpose of Pentecost”. First off, I realize that some might be put off by the term “Pentecost”. But Pentecost doesn’t mean strange church beliefs associated with speaking in tongues. It means that at the time of the Holy Spirit falling on and filling people, they were celebrating the Jewish “Day of Pentecost”, exactly fifty days after the Passover feast, and immediately after the week of “Harvest” celebrations on the Jewish calendar.
Pastor Maye said there were four reasons the Holy Spirit fell on the early disciples at that time:
- Act as “a Comforter” to His followers after His departure.
- Act as “a guide to lead His followers into all truth.”
- Act as “a teacher” to help His followers remember the important lessons he taught.
- To remind his followers that His “joy” would be in them, and their joy “would be made full”. John 15:11.
Pastor Maye said that great joy was the result of the Holy Spirit falling on and filling His followers, but joy was, and "is not the primary purpose of the Pentecostal experience”. He said that the joy of the Lord is “certainly essential to the believer”, but “it must always be interpreted as a source of strength and not as an end within itself”.
He said emphatically that the real purpose of Pentecost was “POWER” to give His followers strength when they were weak, to give them courage when they were afraid, and to carry out the true ministry of the Church in the world. He said simply, “the primary purpose of Pentecost was to empower the Church to fulfill the Great Commission”.
Pastor Maye said that Jesus’ followers were not the intellectual leaders of their day, and they could never carry out the task of the Great Commission with their own strength and abilities. They needed the Holy Spirit’s great power to help them to the point where, “they simply could not fail”.
The power His followers felt was not to draw people to themselves, but to take the saving message of Jesus to people everywhere, in every corner of the world, and their personal worlds. Pastor Maye said, “This is evangelism in the fullest sense.”
Pastor Maye said that God’s purpose is very clear according to 1 Timothy 1:15. “This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. Very simple, isn’t it? Christ wants to save sinners. Pastor Maye said that saving sinners is “second to nothing else in the work of the Church.”
What then is Christ’s plan to evangelize the world? Pastor Maye said, “His plan was simple. His hope was not based on highly organized and intricate plans of operation . . . PEOPLE WERE HIS PLAN.” “Spirit-filled Christians who make up the Church WERE (and are) HIS PLAN TO REACH LOST SOULS! HE HAS NO OTHER PLAN!"
Where have we gotten off track? How can we get back on track? I’m praying for a move of the Holy Spirit again. It’s our only hope to reach a lost and dying world.
See you next time,