Pentecost At Any Cost
“Pentecost At Any Cost” Is the title of a sermon by Leonard Ravenhill he preached in 1963. It was a message from a preacher who reminded a western church that we have fallen far from our pentecostal roots. It was a word from a prophet calling us back to those same works we read about in the twenty-eight chapters of Acts. Though spoken over sixty years ago, it is no less true today. So, as we come into Pentecost weekend, I want to borrow some of the words from Ravenhill and let them speak to us today.
Pentecost brought an enduement of power that shook cities and humbled nations. It unleashed an unstoppable force that overtook the known world. If we wish to see the results of those first Pentecostals, we need only return to their ways.
Ravenhill asked, “Do we really want a Pentecostal visitation of the Spirit that will shatter our status quo spiritually, socially, and economically?” Before we are quick to answer yes, Ravenhill warned of the price of Pentecost. He wrote, “If we want to, we can get back to Pentecost. But the road up this hill of blessing is steep.” He then shared three prices the early church paid that we are not exempt from if we wish to experience a fresh fire of Pentecost.
The Price of Reproach
On the day of Pentecost, they were mocked as being fools and drunks. A few days later, Peter was chastised by the religious rulers for inciting insurrection. Later they would be thrown in prison, stoned, beaten, or killed, all because they refused to be silent and fall in line with the culture of the day.
They lost family, livelihood, and social status. We often marvel at the way they “held everything in common” but we miss the necessity of the commonality. They had been removed from everything they once knew. They only had one another. They found common unity (community) in that reproach and even went so far as to rejoice when they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of Christ.
Today that reproach remains. If you choose to live a radical, sold out to Jesus, unapologetic pentecostal lifestyle, you can expect ridicule. By the way, the sold-out way is the only way. Jesus is either Lord of all, or else He is not Lord at all.
The Price of Disruption
The Holy Spirit does not move at our call; we move at His. If we long for spiritual revival, then we must be willing to surrender our calendar and convenience. We must embrace Holy Spirit disruption. I can think of many adjectives to describe the early church, but comfortable would not make the list. They allowed the Holy Spirit to totally turn over their lives, and as a result, they turned over cities.
Are we willing to pray as they prayed? Seek the Lord the way they sought the Lord? Obey as they obeyed? Until the answer is yes, the fullness of Pentecost will likely remain far off.
The Price of Waiting
The first disciples waited ten days. While they waited, three hundred and eighty believers who were there with Jesus on the Mount of Ascension left, leaving one hundred and twenty in an upper room to tarry. Those one hundred and twenty received the first outpouring. One hundred and twenty people received one hundred and twenty tongues of fire. To receive, one needed only to be willing to wait!
- to humble ourselves before the Lord.
- to focus our eyes upon God.
- to find that broken and contrite spirit the Lord cannot deny.
- to crucify our need for instant gratification and constant entertainment.
- to hear the voice of the living God.
- to throw off our self-sufficiency and embrace utter dependence upon God.
I have found that God doesn’t send His fire upon a place; He sends it upon a position. And that position is on our knees waiting upon Him.
It’s true, if we desire a fresh Pentecost then we must pay the price of Pentecost. We must embrace the reproach, the disruption and the waiting. There is no new way to find Pentecost. There is only one way for the church to operate – God’s way, and the Bible is the blueprint of this way.
Believing For Revival,