May 15th, 2016 is Pentecost Sunday, commemorating the day that the Holy Spirit came down to bring power like a violent wind with tongues like fire to fill and baptize the waiting disciples. This was the promised gift from above to start the church and to give us God’s power, wisdom and strength to live and love through Him. Jesus said to them, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
As we stagger through these “End-times” marred by wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and heathen human behavior, may we be reminded that Jesus also said, “’Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6).
This morning I was contemplating excerpts from a 2015 Franklin Graham sermon saying, “The American dream ended on November 6th, 2012 in
Ohio. The second term of Barack Obama has been the final nail in
the coffin for the legacy of the white Christian males who discovered,
explored, pioneered, settled and developed the greatest republic in
the history of mankind.” The sermon went on to speak of the Judeo-Christian founding of our country that has been diluted and assaulted by the White House and even the Supreme Court. We must fight for our rights, even if the time is late. “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love” (2 Peter 1:3-7 NKJV). God has empowered us and tells us to stand firm and proclaim the truth. It is not an option.
I am reminded this Pentecost Sunday that God re-baptized me in His Spirit just three years ago. “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out like calves released from the stall. Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things, says the Lord Almighty” (Malachi 4:2-3). The Prophet Malachi is speaking of the “End-times” and Jesus’s return to rule in righteousness. He will be like a “refiner’s fire” as He purifies. So be ready and obedient until the victorious end. As Joshua, the leader of Israel said as he ended his leadership, “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14-15).