Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday. It’s interesting to me that I came to the story of the first Pentecost in my daily reading. I meditated on the fruit of that first Pentecost experience. After the followers of Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit their lives changes completely.
The believers devoted themselves to:
- the apostles teaching
- the fellowship
- the braking of bread (Communion)
On the memorable day when Jesus sent the Promise of the Father they were a relatively small group, “numbering about a hundred and twenty”. By the end of the day the number had grow to more than three thousand. Many of those people were probably visitors that had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration.
Luke, the writer of the book of Acts tells us “there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.” I’m sure many of those were among the thousands that responded to the message of the Gospel and were baptized.
They stayed on, and the Jews in Jerusalem shared with them their food and shelter.
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people” (Acts 2:44-46).
Let me share with you some of the fruit of Pentecost—how the church grew and expanded. (The numbers represent chapters and verses in the Book of Acts).
- (2:41) Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
- (2:47) And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
- (4:4) Many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.
- (5:14) More and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.
- (6:7) The word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
- (9:31) Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.
- (9:42-43) The resurrection of Tabitha became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.
- (10:44-46) While Peter was still speaking [in the house of Cornelius], the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
- (11:19-21) Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
- (14:1) At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed.
- (14:21) They preached the good news in Derbe and won a large number of disciples.
- (16:5) So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.
- (17:4) In Thessalonica, some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.
- (17:12) In Berea, many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
- (17:34) Athens… A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
- (18:7-11) Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
- (19:8-10) In Ephesus, Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
- (19:20) The word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
This is in a nut shell what happened after Pentecost. It is not something that was reserved to people in the early times of the church. We can have the same fruit today!
Peter’s reply on the Day of Pentecost to those who were cut to the heart is for us too: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39).
Let’s be open to the work of the Holy Spirit so we can experience the same growth, that as followers of Jesus we DAILY grow in numbers!
You and I are part of the fruit of Pentecost. Thanks to those faithful and brave believers some two thousand years ago, and the millions upon millions from that day on, the Gospel has reached you and me.
All glory and praise be to Jesus for his Gift of Salvation and for the work and power of the Holy Spirit. Every day can be Pentecost!