By: Arlen Williams | Gulag Bound
Last I read, thousands of churches in California alone are committing to open on Sunday, May 31st. I hope to find one here in the northern Driftless Area of Wisconsin. “Driftless” means it is filled with ancient bluffs never raked down by the glacial flow of the wanes of Ice Ages.
I like that stalwartness, to stand up and be what one best and truly is. It reminds me of my favorite epistle (letter) in the New Testament, Ephesians — firmly founded, rooted and grounded, not pushed around by climates, but growing-up dynamically, with other believers to be fully equipped in Christ, in His love eternally.
Most pertinent to our present time, about worshiping together, through a very relevant passage of Scripture, Hebrews 10:19-25, the Lord tells us:
Therefore, brothers, since we have the confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
What time is more fitting for the renewal of church in person, than Pentecost Sunday, an anniversary of Jesus’ disciples’ worship together in the upper room of one building, shortly after Christ ascended to Paradise, where he remains to this day. Suddenly, they found themselves anointed by the Holy Spirit for their new times.
Two videos, one by a pastor in California, the other in Colorado, spell out the need to resume personal worship together and on Pentecost Sunday.
Pastor Jack Hibbs, Calvary Chapel, Chino Hills, California, on May 5th.
R. Loren Sandford, New Song Church, Denver, Coloradi, on May 11th.
Pentecost Sunday is coming up May 31. It’s a special day and I want to tell you why.
Many prophetic voices, going all the way back to David Wilkerson in the 1980s up through today, have been prophesying that this coronavirus crisis will be followed by a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I don’t like setting dates for such things. We’ve seen too many prophecies with dates attached come and go without real fulfillment, but I do believe the greatest outpouring of the Spirit of God in history is coming and I don’t believe it will be long before we see it unfold.
Some say it will actually begin on this coming Pentecost Sunday, May 31. I can’t verify that. I can’t say that God has spoken this to me, but this I do know. That date is significant. Historically, Pentecost Sunday is the day the church remembers and celebrates the outpouring of God’s Spirit and the baptism in the Spirit that John the Baptist prophesied before Jesus began His earthly ministry.
It was the day that the sound of a mighty rushing wind filled the upper room where the 120 were gathered. It was the day that flames appeared on their heads and they began speaking in tongues, praising God in languages they had not learned. The power of it drove them out of seclusion in the upper room into the street to become witnesses for Jesus, making disciples of all the nations. Three thousand men and their families came to Jesus that day because of the power they received.
All across this nation and the world, churches have been forbidden to gather during this crisis. Most have willingly complied with government orders while at the same time a chorus of voices have risen, at least in the United States, to protest this violation of our first amendment rights to freedom of religion and freedom of assembly. Most have gone along with it because they believed they were saving lives, and because they believed they should submit to the governing authorities, but as the days and weeks have passed, both the issue of whether we are actually saving lives and the issue of submission have been legitimately called into question.
Now in many states businesses are gradually being allowed to open. Marijuana shops and liquor stores never did close. They were deemed “essential services” by our government officials while churches were ordered to remain shut. We were labeled “non-essential”. We were supposed to be content with going online, but going online will never be a satisfying substitute for in-person contact and eyeball to eyeball ministry to one another in an atmosphere of the presence of God.
Some states – and yes, I will say states ruled by Democrats – have forbidden churches to open for many more months to come. But the worship of God and the gathering of the saints is indeed an essential service for the mental and emotional health of a stressed out and fearful people. We need that touch of God and the encouragement of fellowship face to face and eyeball to eyeball. As human beings we are built for this. It’s the way God made us.
Continues at rlorensandford.com…
This is a new time for us all. Time to stand up, not be drawn down and raked away. Time to warm up to the Lord, not be put on ice. Perhaps, time for the healthiest kind of fire, a new rush of the Holy Spirit as we worship together, in conjunction with one-on-one time with Him and by his living, written Word.
Clearly, we face new challenges and new opportunities. I am looking for a renewed church fellowship fit to meet it all in the flow of new blessings as well as old, by the King’s storehouse. I pray you find your best open doors.