This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, the day we celebrate the birth of the New Testament Church. Pentecost comes from a Greek word “Pente” which means 50. Fifty days after Easter is Pentecost.
What is interesting is that the Old Testament also celebrates two feasts which were 50 days apart. Passover is the feast that coincides with Easter. It is the feast that celebrates the blood that was shed to forgive our sins. 50 days later the Children of Israel would celebrate the Feast of Harvest (Ex 23:16). This is the feast that coincides with Pentecost. It marked the beginning of the season of harvest.
The purpose of Pentecost is to usher in the season of harvest of souls. In Acts 1:8 Jesus told the disciples that the mark of Pentecost on their lives would be that they would receive power to witness for Him. Power to share the message of Jesus with the world.
According to Pew Research, 2.2 billion people call themselves Christians. 50% of this number call themselves Catholic. The next biggest group, which number 27%, are the Pentecostals/Charasmatics. The orthodox number 12% and the remainder are Evangelicals and other Christians.
There is no doubt that the Pentecostals are the fastest growing group in the Christian world. The reason is simple. The Pentecostals believe that they are empowered by the Holy Spirit to share the gospel with others. Consequently, Pentecostal churches are at the forefront of Missions, Evangelism and Church Planting around the world. I am proud to be amongst their number.
Lots of love,
Ps John and Anne Iuliano