2010

23 May 2010

Trinity Sunday

On 23 May with all Christians in the world the church “Philadelphia” celebrated Pentecost, or Trinity Sunday, as it is called in Russia. It is dedicated to the events that took place several days after Jesus Christ ascension to the Father when His disciples got the Holy Spirit and started preaching the gospel with power and courage.

Recalling this event preacher Alexander Rozuvaj pointed out in his address to the church that there were 120 people in the room that day. Though from the Acts we remember that Jesus showed Himself to more that 500 disciples after the ascension. Where were all these people? Why were they absent when the Holy Spirit came down? Those who showed their reverence for God were granted with the Holy Spirit. God treats us according to His calling for each of us. Recalling the story about Gideon we see that God noticed him and said he would lead the people in the war with the Midianites and win it. Gideon was not the eldest in his family but was called a strong man by God. God can see further that we can.

The Holy Spirit shows His power and gives revelations by many different ways including dreams. Sister Lyudmila shared her dream with the church and senior pastor Pavel Zhelnovakov interpreted it. In her dream Lyudmila saw many people coming into a white tent with a cross on the roof. They come into it carrying stones of different shapes and colours. On the other side of the tent there is an exit, and the people come out with happy faces and with other stones — the colour or the size has changed. They are walking on a wide road. On the left there is a smaller pathway and some people turn there. Having come several metres they fall into an abyss.

Then there is another path. It is a good way with banisters, and a number of people go there, close one to another, but at the end there is again an abyss, that unfortunately cannot be seen right away.

Most people continue marching the wide road. At the right side of this road there are new tents with notices: “Children” (many women queue to it), “Technology”, “Entertainment”, “Money”; there is a tent with a wonderful speaker. But those who didn’t stop there keep on going. The road is getting narrower and vanishes in the fog, but before entering the mist people throw away their burdens that have turned into sand after their journey.

Senior pastor interpreted this dream as follows. The tent in the Old Testament was associated with the tabernacle — the place of the meeting with God. Being saved many of us do not hurry to give up all the burdens we have — we still have some “stones”. A Christian starts his way of ascending the mountain of God. Satan is attempting to lead people astray tampering an image of a wide and a narrow path. He is trying to attract people with new ideas that “help” to become “superspiritual”. Sometimes they look exciting and harmless but lead to death.

The tents from the dream are hindrances for a Christian to make him or her lose time and power and fail to achieve the goal. It does not mean that believers should not get married and have children, buy cars, have hobbies and high salaries. The main thing here is not to let it become the priority. If we don’t leave this road and don’t stop in these tents we will come to God’s mountain and be united with Him.

 “Freedom from fear” — that was Pavel Zhelnovakov’s sermon. Fearful people will not get to the heavens. The Bible says: “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars — their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur” (Revelation 21:8). The cowards, those who are afraid of something are in one line with other sinners; they open this list! However thinking about the results of fear we can see that many people are in prison because of somebody’s fear to tell the truth. Even the apostles were scared of different things. Peter denied being with Christ three times. All the disciples left Jesus on the cross but for several women and John. The others were scared.

There are no fearless people. We are afraid of God, people or the common sense. Fear of God is something sacred that doesn’t let us sin. Only the Holy Spirit can free us from the wrong fear — the way He did on the day of Pentecost. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline,” — Paul wrote to Timothy. Only the Holy Spirit can make such changes so that there will not be any trace of fear.

 



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