Is This the Time of National Restoration?

“Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:6-8).

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The Centrality of the Pentecostal Altar

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Pentecostalism is a Spirit-movement; therefore, Pentecostals favor worship in which the Spirit moves. For Pentecostals, worship means experiencing the Holy Spirit in the fellowship of the church. While anointed singing and preaching are highly valued, they are not the goals of worship; they are a means to the desired end—an encounter with God at the altar. It is at the altar that souls are “gloriously saved,” converts are sanctified, the sick are healed, and seekers are baptized in the Holy Spirit. Whether these altar calls are noisy and dynamic, or somber and tearful, those who witness and participate in this spiritual worship walk away from the altar deeply moved and inwardly transformed. Pentecostal worship is not simply enthusiasm, neither is it entertainment—it is an evangelistic encounter with God’s holy presence.

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Self-Righteousness Goes Both Ways

There is no shortage of accusers against self-righteous Christians, and the systemic self-righteousness of the institutional church. You have undoubtedly seen the bumper stickers, read the posts, and viewed the videos that portray most Christians as judgmental hypocrites. Unbelievers and believers alike take aim and hurl an avalanche of stones. The well-meaning believers who are “prophetically” (tongue-in-cheek) accusing their brethren of hypocrisy don’t seem to realize that they have also become “judgmental.” Self-righteousness goes both ways.

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The Foolish Rich Man

So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (Luke 12:21; cf. 16-21).

This story reminds us of Joseph who stored the grains of Egypt in preparation for the famine (Genesis 41:25ff). It is wise to prepare for the future (Proverbs 6:6-11). Those who do not prepare for the future ensure their poverty. But this story diverges from the Joseph story. Joseph was charged with storing grain so that during the coming famine the people would flourish.

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