Happy Pentecost! I don’t know how it is in your country, but here in Sweden, Pentecost is hardly celebrated at all. We’re must more eager to celebrate National Cinnamon Bun Day or Waffle Day (yeah, we have those). This is a pity. Pentecost is worth celebrating; it represents an amazing power-boosting of the church by the Holy Spirit, needed to perform its divinely commanded mission to save the world.
The book of Acts describes how the Holy Spirit baptized all of the early Jesus followers – men and women alike – and gave them the miraculous gifts of prophecy, speaking in tongues and preaching an epic sermon that leads to 3000 people accepting Jesus as their Saviour and receiving eternal life (Acts 2). It’s dramatic, it’s fantastic and it’s very supernatural.
Pentecost is repeatable – we can also experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit and be equipped with His miraculous gifts to spread the word about eternal life in Jesus. Pentecostals have always emphasized this: they often talk about preaching the “Full Gospel” – both salvation and Spiritual baptism – and the early Pentecostals said that they had restored the “Apostolic Faith”.
Had they, though?
Obviously, a Spiritually filled Christian who walks in signs and wonders are closer to Biblical discipleship than a believer who refuses to experience such things. But many Pentecostals tragically missed that there is another very important aspect of Pentecost besides the miraculous stuff, which is also a consequence of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit: Community of goods and economic equality.
Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. (Acts 2:43-45)
Now, some early Pentecostals like the Jesus Family in China and some groups in Nigeria among other places did practice community of goods, and thus restored the full full Gospel and all of Pentecost. But today, many Pentecostals are not very interested in the economic Pentecostal lifestyle. The same is true for Christians in other denominations as well.
Likewise, the Biblical Pentecost was about public evangelism as well in the temple courts, which had the result of people coming to Christ every day (Acts 2:46-47). I’ve written elsewhere about why this means that all churches should evangelize collectively today. But even though the early Pentecostals, as well as many other revivalist Christian groups, understood this, evangelism is not common today at all in these churches. At least in the Western world where I live.
It’s time to become fully Pentecostal and resurrect all of Pentecost! This is my vision, passion and life purpose, and I invite you to join me on that journey. Blessings!
Micael Grenholm is editor-in-chief for PCPJ.
Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice is a multicultural, gender inclusive, and ecumenical organization that promotes peace, justice, and reconciliation work among Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians around the world. If you like what we do, please become a member!