For whatever reason, we often feel the simple mandate of the Great Commission isn't enough. So we go out looking for better methods.
Seeking the latest and the greatest methods of men reminds me of David doing his best to bring back the ark of the covenant. He employed a lot of brass, and a lot of boards that were moved along by Big Wheels. However, with the first bump in the road, disaster struck, and revival was sidelined for the next three months.
Listen to me! God isn't looking for better methods out of this meeting this week.
He's looking for:
- better men
- better women
- better pastors
- better evangelists
- better leaders who will lean on him, understanding that, "It's not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord."
Our theme strongly conveys our dependency on the power of the Holy Spirit for us to be able to finish the Great Commission. But it also implies a frightening antithesis. If we are so dependent upon the Holy Spirit, how would we ever assume that we could do any of this without Him? Do we really want to try this without His help and participation?
We must return to Pentecost again.
- the suddenly of Pentecost
- the sounds of Pentecost
- the sights of Pentecost
- the speech of Pentecost
All so we may experience the significance of Pentecost. It's time for us to get the microphone back.
We gave it up to those who said, "You cannot be Pentecostal and reach this generation."
We gave it up to the crowd who said, "The days of miracles, signs and wonders are over."
We gave it up to those who said, "A younger generation won't embrace the message of holiness and conviction."
We gave it up to those whose message is much more apostate than apostolic. Many have been seduced by doctrines of devils, and now, too many who once burned with gospel fire have become clouds without water carried about by the wind. They are as trees whose fruit has withered, twice dead and plucked up by the roots.
We must get our voice back and proclaim again that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
We must get our voice back and proclaim that the day of the Lord is at hand. We must get our voice back and proclaim that righteousness exalts a people, but sin is a reproach to any nation.
We must get our voice back and speak truth. Speak clearly and speak firmly. We need to stand firmly on the "Jesus platform" again.
This assembly cannot be about but one agenda. We must get back to delivering Jesus to the world again by the power of the Holy Spirit.
When Peter went into the home of Cornelius, he proclaimed Jesus:
- Jesus—born of a virgin
- Jesus—living a virtuous life
- Jesus—dying a vicarious death
- Jesus—raised in a victorious resurrection
- Jesus—coming in a visible return
As he preached Jesus, the Holy Ghost "fell on them as in the early church in the upper room." Why complicate it? After we work through all of the resolutions, after we debate and adopt motions, and throw points of order around like confetti, let's get back to the simplicity of the gospel. It's Jesus preached and proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit.
As I close, I'm pondering the question that Mary asked when visited by the angel Gabriel. When Gabriel announced that she would carry and birth the Messiah, Mary asked one question, "How shall this be?" This was not a question expressing her doubt. She just wanted an explanation. God is not short on explanations. He has an answer.
When I first began to broadcast the idea that the Church of God could be a leading participant in finishing the Great Commission, I asked the same thing, "How shall this thing be?"
In preparing the agenda, I asked the executive council to look at six primary areas to help facilitate the finish commitment. I saw us at a crossroads and was reminded of Jesus sending his disciples to Bethphage—a place where two roads came together. Once there, they released two donkeys and brought them to Jesus. He would choose the unridden colt to be his transportation into Jerusalem, which would demonstrate that He has not come to do away with the old law, but He has simply ridden it out.
With no disrespect intended, I asked the council that day, "Could it be that we are a church tethered and bound at a place where two roads meet?" The road of the past has intersected with the road to the future—and we are bound in between.
I asked the council to join me as agents of release and consider for this agenda these six possibilities:
- visional actualization
- doctrinal affirmation
- ministerial activation
- generational assimilation
- spiritual acceleration
After reflecting on each of these again, I asked the same question, "How shall this thing be?" I received the same answer that Mary did. How? The anointing of the Holy Ghost. The angel said, "The power of the Holy Ghost will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you and that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
That's the answer.
How do we reach into every nation? The anointing of the Holy Ghost
How do we find the unreached? The anointing of the Holy Ghost
How do push back against the darkness in this world with any hope of impact upon the harvest? The anointing of the Holy Ghost.
How do we expedite healing to the nations and reconciliation to the races—and also bridge the generations that exist in our churches today? The anointing of the Holy Ghost
How will the Church of God arise into a new manifestation of relevance, a dispensation of revival and a demonstration of anointing? The anointing of the Holy Ghost.
This General Council agenda is vitally important. It has been seasoned with prayer, study and discussion. It has been seasoned with vision. Vision that declares in clarion tones that we—the Church of God—accept the call to share the gospel in the spirit and power of Pentecost. We embrace the call to share the gospel as a 21st-century movement, and with great commitment, we will contend for the faith.
Yes, this agenda carries numerous resolutions. These resolutions point us to the future, and every motion propels us to relevance.
Does it matter that we are here? I answer that question with a resounding yes! Yes, it matters because we are here to finish the Great Commission and witness a fresh wave of Pentecostal power.
This article originally appeared in the Church of God publication, Today.
Tim Hill is the presiding bishop and general overseer of the Church of God.
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