A CHURCH OF FIRE, A CHURCH ON FIRE!

The first church was established in the upper room and this was a church that was birth in the power of God and with the fire of God.  Acts 2: 1-4 tells us what happened on the day of Pentecost, ‘1 and when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.   2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.   3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.   4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance’

This fulfilled the prophecies that went ahead in Malachi 3:1-3 where the prophet talked of the day when the refiners’ fire will eventually appear in the temple of God. ‘

1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me:  and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in:  behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.   2 But who may abide the day of his coming?  And who shall stand when he appeareth?  for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:  3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver:  and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.  

And like Malachi puts it, suddenly the fire of God fell in Acts 2, and from then on the church was born of fire and the fire they carried consumed their world. From Peter’s sermon in Acts 2, 3000 souls were added to the church. Luke reported it here in verse 38-42.

‘38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.   39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.   40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, save yourselves from this untoward generation.   41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:  and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls’  

The report was succinct, ‘the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls’, a stark contrast with what many of our present-day churches experience today: 3000 messages for 1 soul! For the apostles it was 1 message for 3000 souls, the difference was in the fire content of their message! Was it John Wesley who said that when a man of God is on fire the whole world will gather to watch him burn. The same can apply to the church: when we are born of fire we will burn with fire and the world will watch us burn and they will not just watch us burn, they will be consumed as well refined and change by the fire of God!

Today we make lot of impressions with our magnificent buildings, indescribable lightning’s, excellent music and administrative capabilities in running our churches, these are all good.  It tells the world we are not crude, but excellent in our mind, organizational and management skills! Great impressions we have made but that will never be enough to secure conversion to the Lord. It is conviction by the fire of the Spirit that brings people to the Lord!

John 16: 7-8 tells us, ‘7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth;  It is expedient for you that I go away:  for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;  but if I depart, I will send him unto you.   8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment’. And this was what happened in Acts 2, the fire of the Spirit pricked them in their heart and they begged for answers: ‘men and brethren what shall we do?’ When the church is on fire the world will beg us for answers!

Fire refines. Fire purifies. The future of the church is in the fire that she carries on her head.

Phillip took this fire to Samaria in Acts 8. Peter took it to Judea in Acts 10. And Paul starting from Acts 13 took that fire to the world insomuch that in Acts 19 it was reported that the whole of Asia was subdued in two years and thereafter the fire exploded in signs, wonders, and miracles! “10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews, and Greeks.   11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:  12 so that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.  The church of Jesus Christ has come this far not by grammar but by fire and it is that same fire that will create our future. I believe strongly a new fire is about to fall on us, but we must hunger for it.

Fire refines. Fire purifies. The future of the church is in the fire that she carries on her head.

We are threatened on all sides by the world and its schemes, but like the early church we must return to our company and ask for the fire to fall, that is our surest strategy for success. Acts 4:29-31 tells us what they did.

‘29 And now, Lord, behold their threatening’s:  and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal;  and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.   31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness’

When the fire fell this time it didn’t just sit on their head, it shook the building where they found themselves and not just their building but the world around them. The effect of this fire on the church was best put forth in Acts 17:6, ‘And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, these that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;’

When the fire falls on the church the tables will be turned on the world. A songwriter penned these few words in song: ‘OH LORD SET MY HEART ON FIRE FOR YOU’. This is my cry, this should be our cry, a church born of fire will naturally be on fire for God! A fire generation is about to be born!

 

 

 

 

 

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