The promise of the Father

Published 11:00 am Sunday, May 26, 2024

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” — Acts 1:8, NKJV 

Could it be that the decline in the number of new converts to Christianity, and the resulting decline of most major Christian denominations, is the result of years of denominations trying to be a Church without the power of the Holy Spirit enabling it? It is quite obvious that Jesus intended that the Holy Spirit lead His Church; why else would He insist that His disciples wait for the “Promise of My Father”? [Luke 24:49] 

Attempting to be a Church without the power of the Holy Spirit is like pushing your car when there is a perfectly good engine under the hood that is specifically intended to propel the vehicle. We expend a lot of energy and money but get nowhere very fast; though we sometimes get nowhere very quickly when the money and energy are gone. Many Churches today are very busy but accomplish little of a lasting nature, when they could take advantage of the source that Jesus provided and change the world around them. 

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When will we learn? The sad answer is that we likely will not. Like our predecessors in the Bible, God will simply allow us to wander in our own wilderness until another more obedient generation is produced.

If we are to regain our Churches for Him it will only be by using the means that Jesus sent; the Power of God the Holy Spirit. All that we require to be able to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives has been given to us by God in the person of the Holy Spirit. He alone can provide the power necessary to change minds and hearts for Jesus. As human beings, we are saddened when friends or family reject our gifts. Imagine how God must feel when we reject His offer of the Holy Spirit. It is the height of arrogance to think that we can achieve all that God intends under our own natural wisdom and power.

Yes, my friends, Jesus told the disciples to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. To disobey this command is to incur dismal failure in ministry, and bring embarrassment on the Church.

The Rev. Bobby Thornhill is a retired pastor.