Where Were The Rest?

2 On the day of Pentecost[a] all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages,[b] as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. Acts 2:1-4....."Perhaps this is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among gospel believers today. We want to be saved but we insist that Christ do all the dying."  A.W. Tozer....."If there is anything we want more than being a Spirit-filled believer, we will never be a Spirit-filled believer." Unknown...."I plowed up until I struck fire and met God." Charles Finney

 

The Bible records that 500 or more people were eyewitnesses of His resurrection. They saw the One who had been crucified and died on the cross, alive, and filled with Life. They had fellowship with Him, heard His words. They touched and "handled" Him. Acts 1:4 tells us that Jesus told them, "Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you what He promised." Five hundred or more people saw Him, heard Him, but on the Day of Pentecost, there were one hundred and twenty in the upper room. The question that has to be asked is, where were the rest?
 

Yet before that question can be answered, there are some more to deal with. Those 120 were in that upper room for quite some time. What were they doing while they were there? Did they have a lot of potluck fellowships? Did they plan a lot of fun, exciting activities to keep everyone involved and engaged? Did they organize a lot of committees to meet, discuss, and plan on what they would do once the Father fulfilled His promise? Judging by much of what we see in the church today, it's what we would do. T. Austin-Sparks said that the modern church doesn't understand anything that isn't organized and planned out. Yet, none of this is what they were doing. They were doing exactly what Finney spoke of in his above quote. They were plowing up the ground of their hearts, hardness and all, until they "struck fire," His fire, "and met God." The unleashing of His Holy Spirit power upon His church. A literal Tsunami of His Holy Spirit. They would never be the same. One hundred and twenty previously timid, fearful people would now step from that room and spiritually turn the world upside down. There was nothing that they wanted more than the fulfillment of His promise of the fullness of His Spirit in their lives. Because of that, they received the fullness of His promise. They, the 120 did. The rest, at least at that time, didn't. Two groups. The first would let nothing keep them from Him. The second seemed willing to let anything keep them from Him. To which would we most likely belong?

 

We in the church decry the corruption of our modern culture, a corruption that is spreading ever faster. Yet we fail to see that it is so because we have failed to be His witness and presence to it. Whatever efforts we make to reform it fail because we seek to do so in our own strength and not His. Oswald Chambers wrote, "The cry today is, 'We must get some work to do, the heathen are dying without God, we must go and tell them of Him. We have to see first that God's needs in us personally are being met. 'Tarry ye until...' " We're often willing to work for Him, He calls us to work with and in Him. This cannot happen until we go to our own upper rooms, and tarry there until we strike fire....and meet Him.

Pentecost has come, but has it come for you and I? Where were the rest? Who knows. Likely they all had their reasons for not being in that room. Good ones as far as they were concerned. Whatever their reasons, they missed having the fullness of His promise come to pass in their lives and hearts. Maybe they entered into that life later on, but we'll never know this side of eternity. Meanwhile, He calls us anew to His upper room. Indeed, He bids us live there. Not away from the world but in the midst of it. In power, with a witness, a transforming witness that only comes when we are willing to let all things go for the receiving of the fullness of His salvation promised to all who will deny and die to themselves so that they might live unto and in Him. The upper room still calls to us. Will we join the 120 there, as well as all who have gone before us? Or, will we be found with all the rest? Engaged with other seemingly important things, that are in reality, empty things when they are empty of Him.

 

Blessings,
Pastor O

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