Google+ 05/21/13 Proclaim and Prophesy!

Acts 2:16-21


No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:

‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy. 

Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.
In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—

men and women alike—and they will prophesy.
And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below—
blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red
 Before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives.
But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’


In part two of our six-part devotion celebrating the arrival of the Holy Spirit, Peter continues his Pentecost sermon.  Peter quotes the prophet Joel from the Old Testament.  By doing so, he shows his audience the connection between Joel's looking for the Holy Spirit and the modern-day proclamation of the same.  Both for Peter's audience and us, this is an extremely important point.  In the Old Testament, Joel was looking forward to the time that Jesus would be resurrected and taken up into heaven, leaving the Holy Spirit in His place.  Joel was also giving the people of his time encouragement that the Holy Spirit was present and that they too could be blessed.  We, as modern-day Christians, know that Jesus is coming back and that the earth will be cleansed by God.  We look forward to that time with anticipation.  It will be an incredible day when we get to physically look at God and Jesus and fellowship with Them for all eternity.  But what about now?  Do we just sit and anticipate that day and rejoice in our salvation?  The Bible emphatically says "NO!"   We are to call on the Holy Spirit now and prophesy.  The Holy Spirit indwells us, as Christians, for many reasons.  One of those marvelous reasons is so that we can continue Jesus's work here on earth.  The Holy Spirit gives each of us abilities to further the Kingdom here on earth, before Jesus's return.  Peter explains, through the prophet Joel, that God is going to do miraculous works, right before our eyes.  Then, there is the most glorious final verse of our Scripture lesson today.  If we ever needed a little encouragement, here it is!  Joel says that any of us that call on the name of the Lord will be saved!  Yes, that means Jesus is for everyone and all we have to do is ask!  So why isn't everyone a believer?  That answer is simple and tragic.  We don't prophesy, so people don't ask.  The next time we "clam-up" about Jesus because we are afraid it might not be politically correct, think about this.  We may be the only opportunity that a given individual has to hear the gospel message.  If we don't proclaim, that person doesn't know to ask.  It is never good to give away the "ending" of a story, but Peter's message on the day of Pentecost worked!  Thousands called on the name of the Lord that very day and had their names written in the Book of Life!  Listen to Peter.  Be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Call on the name of the Lord.  Look for God's wonders all around you today.  Then, proclaim and prophesy to everyone you see!