Acts 2:37-41 The Awakening Read text. Next Sunday morning, Brother Mike Ragland will be here to preach a meeting that we call a revival. A revival is a good thing. Revival happens when the saints get spiritually stirred, stirred to pray fervently, stirred to walk holy, stirred to witness constantly, stirred to put the fleshly and the carnal out of their lives, stirred to seek God with all of their might. I have never seen a church-wide revival. I have experienced and seen an individual revival, but never one that engulfed a whole church. I would so love to see one, and since there is no better time, I would love to see one now. But what we are looking at in this text is not a revival. Revival is only for the saints, the saved. Lost people cannot be revival for they have nothing to make alive again. They are spiritually dead. The only saints present on that day were the 120 who had been in the upper room and they needed no revival. They were Holy Spirit filled and alive. What took place on the day of Pentecost was an awakening. The saints who were on fire for God took their message to a lost world, a sin-hardened world, a world who just fifty days before had crucified Jesus Christ. They took their message to the street in what began as a hostile environment, but then God the Holy Spirit began to awaken the dead souls and before long, sinners were getting saved. Our church needs revival. The church in America needs revival. The church across the globe might need revival, but what our community needs is an awakening. What our state needs is an awakening. What our country needs is an awakening. Mr. Obama is now correct. America is NOT a Christian nation. It will do no good for us to pray that this heathen nation is revived. It is a nation in which the majority have turned to false gods. They cannot be revived. What they need is to be awakened. Interesting, it seems the formula for both a revival and an awakening is the same. Let’s note what was done. I. Presence (of the Holy Ghost) A. There will be neither an awakening nor a revival without the presence of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. B. The Holy Spirit came as a result of a PROMISE. 1. Jesus made the promise of the Holy Ghost’s coming several times, but the most recent was at His ascension. Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 2. That promise was made to the disciples, but I believe Jesus intended us to have the Holy Ghost as well. a. Just before our text, Peter quoted from Joel which said: Ac 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: b. Paul commanded the Ephesians: Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; c. Paul told the church at Rome: Ro 8:9 …Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 3. The Holy Ghost of God has been both misunderstood and maligned. a. I see two groups doing much damage to the world’s opinion of the Holy Ghost. b. The charismatics. (1) The charismatics have made the Holy Ghost a caricature. (2) They have portrayed God the Spirit as the One who makes them talk strange and dance in church. (3) That is not who the Holy Ghost is. (a) Even if there was a heavenly language as the charismatics insist, Paul said that speaking that way does not edify the church only the individual \\#1Cor 14:4\\. (b) He further stated that of the unlearned saw the church doing that they would think the church mad \\#1Cor 14:23\\. (c) And they do. c. However, they are not alone for the non-charismatics have become so afraid of the Holy Ghost that they blaspheme Him by their cowardliness. (1) Some flee from the filling of the Holy Ghost like balloon in the wind. (2) Friend, if you call yourself a Christian and have never been crushed, convinced, and broken by the Holy Ghost, you are still unsaved. (3) If you are a Christian who had not felt the convicting, changing power of the Holy Ghost, you are still carnal. (4) And if you have not been a vessel the Holy Ghost has empowered and through which He works to impact the lives of others, you are light hid under a bushel and salt that has no savour. d. Friend, we need to seek His presence. (1) How? (2) Look further at the text. C. The Holy Ghost came after the disciples PAUSED. Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 14 These all continued with one accord…. 1. The disciples took a time out. a. Some of them were fishermen. Another a tax collector. b. No doubt they all had jobs, homes, and hobbies, but they put all of that on hold for they knew they needed some One more. 2. I do not believe there will ever be much of a revival or an awakening if we do not take time out from this world. a. To come into God’s presence requires time. (1) Sure, you and I can barge into God’s throne room and throw down our list of demands in almost time at all. (2) We can tell Him what we want, what we believe we need, and even how we think He ought to go about getting things done with no more finesse than a drug addict demanding another fix. b. But to enter into God’s presence takes time. To see God, to sense God, to feel God, to worship God—that takes time. c. And even more time is required if we are to bring the holy God into our selfish, carnal, sinful lives. d. And even more time if we are to bring God into our confused, chaotic, and often carnal homes. e. And even more time if we are to bring God into our greedy, mean-spirited, and corrupt work places and world. 3. The Bible does not tell us how long they were in the Upper Room waiting on God, but we can get a good estimate. a. I believe that Jesus died ON the Passover. b. There are 49 days between the Passover and Pentecost. c. Pentecost means "fiftieth," meaning it is the 50th day after Passover. d. If Jesus died ON Passover, (1) then arose on the 3rd day, (2) then spend 40 days appearing to His disciples \\#Acts 1:3\\, (3) then the disciples were in the Upper Room praying for 7 days. (4) On the seventh day was Pentecost and the Holy Ghost came. e. Seven is not a magic number. It might be 1 day, 3 days, 10 days, 100 days. f. The point is we must pause our lives to seek God for whatever time it takes if we want God’s presence. D. The Holy Ghost came after PRAYING. Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication…. 1. Prayer is not the only way to receive of God but it is the surest way to receive from God. James 4:2 …ye have not, because ye ask not. Mt 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you…. Psalm 145:15 The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him…. 2. God always gives in mercy but God delights to give in answer to a persistent, fervent, determined prayer. 3. Someone (me) asked: a. What if we prayed as much as we complained? (1) Would God not be impressed? (2) Would He not be moved to hear and to answer such a one? b. What if we prayed as much as we gossiped? c. What if we prayed as much as we joked? d. What if we prayed as much as we talk trivia? e. If praying got a fraction of the time that football gets on our tongue, would not God move in our presence? II. Preaching (of the cross) A. I cannot explain it, but God moves when the Word of God is preached. 1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1Cor 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1Co 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 1. The word used most often for preach means "to herald as a town crier. 2. That is not teaching. a. I love teaching the Bible, but teaching and preaching are not the same. b. Teaching is explaining, reasoning, even debating. c. Preaching is to disregard questions and explanations and to cry out the truth loudly, plainly, repeatedly so that everyone can hear it. 3. There is a time and a place for teaching but there is also a time and a place for preaching. 4. Beginning in \\#Acts 2:14-36\\… a. Peter did not take questions. b. He did not let the skepticism of the crowd slow him down. c. He did not pause to explain logic or state facts. d. He just preached, plainly, loudly, boldly until the message God gave him was complete. B. Notice the pattern to Peter’s preaching. 1. He preached Scripture. a. In this one sermon, Peter quoted \\#Joel 2:28-32, Psalm 16:8-11, Psalm 110:1\\. b. Paul told Timothy: 2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 2. He preached Jesus. Peter mentioned Jesus by name in: a. \\#Acts 2:22\\ b. \\#Acts 2:32\\ c. \\#Acts 2:36\\ d. \\#Acts 2:38\\ 3. He preached with accusation. a. He told the people they had crucified Jesus \\#Acts 2:36\\. b. He called them "wicked" in \\#Acts 2:23. 4. He preached redemption. a. He told the people God raised Him from the dead \\#Acts 2:32\\. b. He told the people that Jesus was Lord and Christ \\#Acts 2:36\\. c. He told the people that Jesus had paid the price for our sins \\#Acts 2:38\\. 5. He connected the sermon with the what was going on in the people’s life. a. He jumped in with their thought that the disciples were drunk because that was what was going on then. b. He moved to the crucifixion and resurrection that happened just 50 days earlier because that was THEIR sin. c. Preaching does not knock both the sinner and the saint between the eyes and mark their sins for them to see will never bring either revival or an awakening. 6. You cannot go wrong with that kind of preaching! III. Then the Holy Ghost moved on the PEOPLE. A. \\#37\\ Says they were "pricked in their heart." 1. The word means "to pierce thoroughly." 2. God the Holy Ghost shot them through with the arrow of conviction. 3. Instantly, they knew everything Peter had preached was true. 4. This was not a truth realized in the mind by reason. 5. It was a truth realized in the spirit because the Holy Ghost told them it was true! 6. Teaching can move man’s mind, but only God can move man’s spirit. 7. There is a time to move man’s mind, but revival and awakening will only come when God’s moves man’s spirit. B. \\#38\\ Peter told the people to repent of their sin and follow in believers’ baptism. 1. Knowing the truth, they were told to turn away from their sins and to turn toward obedience in Jesus Christ. 2. Their first test of obedience was to be publically identified with the One that the religious leaders had condemned. a. To follow in an act of identification so clear and unmistakable that everyone would understand what it meant. b. To follow in being submerged as Jesus Himself had been. 3. \\#Acts 2:41\\ 3,000 immediately followed! a. 3,000 who 50 days before had helped crucify Jesus. b. 3,000 who just minutes ago thought the disciples were drunk and mocked them. 4. \\#Acts 2:45\\ Not only so, but many of them sold everything they had to give it to the work of preaching the gospel to others. C. \\#46\\ says they continued in this way. 1. This was not a temporary confusion or an emotional knee jerk. 2. These people were awakened to who Jesus is and to their sinfulness and made a powerful, permanent turn. Glory! They were awakened. This is what we need in our community, in our state, in our nation, and in our world. And us, we need reviving. You and I cannot control the outcome of the next two weeks but we can control our activities. 1. We will take time out from this world, daily, to pray and seek God? a. How much? b. More than you can afford. c. It is the price that must be paid or nothing will change. 2. Will you clear your heart of selfishness, carnality, worldliness? a. Will it be difficult? Will others think you strange? b. Absolutely, but it is the price that must be paid. 3. Will you make the meetings, listen with your heart, beg God to speak to your spirit, refuse to compromise or let the devil win? Friend, so it must be. Will you?
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