…who believes that Pentecost affects everything. Passion and Pentecost form one inseparable whole. Pentecost does not complete the work of the cross–it personalizes it. Jesus said, “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 15:14). John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). What revelation! He just summed up the Bible. Four verses later the Father said to John, about to baptize Jesus, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.”
The Spirit showed up at Pentecost–and never left. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). Was that for show? It kept happening as the Spirit was poured out (Acts 8, 10, 19). From the reading of Paul (I Cor. 12 & 14), we would assume that they continued to use this brilliant gift to build themselves up and to worship. It was not used for communication. When Peter got up to preach, it was not translated because all who gathered apparently understood his Aramaic.
I am an evangelical who believes that Pentecost can still be experienced. I speak in tongues because it is in the book. When my friend Graeme invited me to speak at his church in Arizona, the bishop Howie Wennes heard I was coming. He called Graeme and asked, “You’re not becoming charismatic, are you?” Graeme responded, “If it’s in the book, we want it. If it’s not in the book, we don’t want it.” End of discussion.
Paul writes that “he who speaks in a tongue edifies himself” (I Cor. 14:3). I don’t know too many people who are overdosing on encouragement, who need a little discouragement in his life. The gift of tongues was reserved for God’s New Covenant people to walk in continual encouragement as they live out their life in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
How do I know it is a gift that builds up the one exercising it? Because I feel better when I speak in tongues? No, because the Word of God tells me it happens. Take it on faith as you do the rest of the Bible. Evangelicals who have tolerated the gifts at best or spoken against them at worst are not as evangelical as they profess. They have managed to talk themselves out of some blessings that are meant for them and for the whole body of Christ. And remember–wrong use is not an excuse for disuse. Correct the abuse and get on board. We all need a personal Pentecost.
The book, Empowered Evangelicals, can help solid Christians who love God and His Word to step into the life of the Spirit more freely. I would like to connect with pastors who are evangelicals, because I am one. I just happen to believe that the full blessings of Pentecost belong to me and to all in the body of Christ. Did I hear an “Amen!?” I would like to pray with pastors (and all others) who are hungry for more and believe it can happen through the work of the Holy Spirit!