Pentecostals, flakiness and steely determination against all the odds.
Luke 8: 6, 13 “Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture …Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.”
The extravagant Jesus scatters his seed in such a way that seems careless to the many. He doesn’t seem bothered where it lands. There is no limit to the gospel. There is an endless supply of the seed. It can be wasted, no panic, it is okay. Let us enjoy the joy while it lasts. For some it will be short-lived others will make it for the long haul.
I have been astounded often by finding out the ones I thought wouldn’t make it because I thought under the test of life they would fall away. Whereas the ones I would have betted on them lasting the course didn’t last a year in the Church.
Happy Pentecost everyone!
One of the accusations thrown at the Pentecostal is shallowness. That underneath there isn’t much. At the surface it is just froth and bubble, unconventional behaviour which is contrived, indulgent, bizarre, over-emotional and alarming.
Acts 2:13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
Yet, today, there are 600 million Pentecostals in the world.
- 92 million denominationalPentecostals (or “Classical Pentecostals”).
- 234 million Charismatics. This includes Catholic (177 million), Orthodox (4.2 million), and Protestant (35 million) Christians.
- 259 million IndependentPentecostal/Charismatics.
Taken as a whole, Pentecostals (in the large sense of the term) make up over 25% of all of the world’s Christians. So Pentecostalism is large! And it will continue to grow. By 2025 scholars expect over 30% of Christians will be Pentecostal-Charismatic.
So the answer is, ‘No, these people are not drunk, as you suppose. It is only nine in the morning!’ (Acts 2:15)
Do they survive the testing, do they fall away because they have no root, no depth? Just ask those in Eritrea where the Pentecostals are hunted down and are persecuted the most.
In 2017 a report titled “In Response to Persecution,” which was a new study from the Notre Dame’s Under Caesar’s Sword project, stated that the Pentecostals in the world were targeted far more than any other in the Church. It concluded, “The word martyr is derived from the Greek for “witness” and those who die for their faith “embody the fullest expression of Christian freedom, testifying with their lives to the ultimate triumph of the God in whom they hope.”
So, not so much flakiness in that report.
Acts 2: 16 “No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people …”
Peter scattered the seed of the gospel and 3,000 souls came into the kingdom that day. Amongst them probably some of a rocky soil, some who wouldn’t last the testing. But that’s okay. That’s just how it is.