“And there, they preached the Gospel,” (Acts 14:7).
It may do well, that we stop for a moment, and ask ourselves; just what is the gospel?
Sometimes, it seems we may have gotten so caught up in things we call doctrine and baptism, that we forget, there is something that comes before all of that. After all of the things we read that the Apostle wrote, he ends up in saying, “I preach Christ, and Him crucified.” Wonder why?
It seems a bit strange or unusual, that many of us were born into this, at a certain time. If I think back down the road, just what was the scene we so often saw, down at our altars. What was it that happened, that initiated a desire to come to know Him, and to seek for His forgiveness. Do you remember the tears?
Was it not Jesus Christ himself, that drew us to Him. When we watched so many weep their way through to the baptism of the Holy Ghost, what was it, that happened first. His awesome sweet presence.
In Iconium, they preached the gospel. There is something that occurred there, that may have escaped too many of us. It says, that they were speaking boldly, in the Lord; not in themselves or others, but in the Lord. And this, gave testimony unto the word of grace, and, listen, “granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” All of this was so powerful, that many there in that city, believed on Him. Is it not true, that in days gone by, signs and wonders, were done here, when someone preached the gospel.
Without that precious Spirit of Jesus Christ, wooing us, there would have been no desire for true repentance. The fact that He loved us so much, had suffered for us all, and gave His life that we might have a chance for a new life, is what it was all about. There was no talking in tongues and such great things, until we first had an encounter with Him. His presence. How can we ever forget, that sweet presence of the Lord. Wasn’t it true, that it was those precious tears we shed with Him, that changed our lives the most.
It is not my place to say what I think we are preaching today. But it does appear to many, that many have somehow misplaced, what it is really all about. Paul found out, that human beings, even after they had been baptized in the Spirit, could get off base. As some of us heard years back now, “majoring, on the minors.” Contrary to the beliefs of some, the Holy Ghost, was in full force, long before our Lord was born here. And without the coming of the Comforter, we may not have had that Spirit, indwelling inside of us anyway.
The day of Pentecost, did not happen, without Jesus coming first.
~ Robert Blackburn