God Comes Home!
On Sunday we looked at the first part of Acts chapter 2 which is an amazing piece of Scripture. As many of you will know this section of the Bible is all about the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. This date was an important day in the Jewish calendar so much so that the city of Jerusalem would have been crammed with Jews from all over the world all coming to worship God in the holies of all places; the Temple. To appreciate the wonder of the occasion (2000 years of Church tradition can dull our senses) we need to understand what happened by first understanding what didn't happen. The Holy Spirit did NOT come down upon the Temple, He (never speak of the Holy Spirit as an 'it'!) did NOT come down on the Jewish priests, theologians and big wigs and he did NOT result in people speaking in the 'holy language' of Israel- Hebrew. Amazingly, and highly significantly, all of that gets thrown to the wind!
What DOES happen is that the Spirit comes down upon very ordinary people like you and me but people who have repented of their sins and are trusting in Jesus for salvation with the result that they start speaking in foreign languages. This foreign language business is God's way of showing that, ever after, his people would be made up of not one nation but believers from all the nations- even people from wild crazy Ireland! The earth shattering significance of Pentecost is that God was making it clear that his home would never again be in a bricks and mortar Temple but in his Jesus believing people.
Listen to how the Apostle Paul puts it in 1 Corinthians 3; 'Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are'. What a wonder the Christian faith is- today God walks past the golden cathedrals, he scorns the crystal palaces of this world but wants to live in the hearts and lives of little people like you and me!! This is what God says in Isaiah 66- 'Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? 2 For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the Lord.“But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word'.
It is interesting to compare the above mentioned 'trembling attitude' to the response of some people when they saw the Spirit coming down on that Day of Pentecost. We read that 'Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine” Acts 2.13. Which side would you be on- the 'tremblers' or the 'mockers'?
Let me end with another question- do you go to a big religious building to try to meet with God or is God actually meeting with you every day in your life?