Revelation of Fire
See on YouTube https://youtu.be/2hj_bA61OOM
Revelation of Fire
Acts 2:14a, 36-41
1 Peter 1:17-23
How does one begin their Journey with Christ? There are many who have grown up in the church and who were raised to believe that the Bible is true and that Jesus is real. Some are even taught to follow traditions of faith. There are also others who did not grow up in the church and later in life have come to know and believe in Christ. In either case I believe that we are all on a journey with Christ from the time we are conceived. The question though is when do we realize and acknowledge this fact for ourselves? We can go throughout our entire lives thinking that we are doing the right thing and thinking that we have all the answers we need only to one day find out that we knew nothing. At some point in our lives I believe that we are all given a Revelation. In my case it felt like a Revelation of fire. I think for others it is very similar. There came a point in my life when I became certain of the risen Christ in which whom I questioned through my beginning teen years. He revealed himself to me through fire. Not the kind of fire in which he revealed himself to Moses. However, within a fire in which I could feel from inside. It was a fire of passion and love for the one who first loved me.
In acts Chapter 2 the people of Israel who have just witnessed the Holy Spirit fall on these apostles, come to a revelation that Jesus was and is the promised Messiah. It says that they were cut to the heart and wanted to know what they must do after hearing and understanding this message. For years they thought they had been doing right in living in their religiosity and tradition. In reality, there is nothing wrong with tradition other than tradition by itself can distract oneself from understanding true faith. This appears to be exactly what was happening to these people who went about their lives as normal never understanding that they were missing something until this wonderful revelation. Peter is said to plead and beg them to understand this message. He tells them they must repent and be baptized to in the name of Jesus Christ. They needed to be washed and cleansed with water to reveal the cleansing of fire they would feel within themselves. Not everyone listened or responded to this message but we were told that at least 3000 were added to their number that day.
Luke 24 shows us a story about two followers of Christ who were walking blindly on the Emmaus road talking among themselves about the things that had happened. They were so confused because they did not understand what they truly lacked and needed. They thought they needed a messiah who would redeem them from the tyrannical rule of Rome. They did not understand that what they really needed was to be free in the heart and soul from their bondage of sin. Jesus appears to these two men and shows them how foolish they have been as they have not listened to what the prophets of the past had spoken. The truth had always been there before them yet they were blind to see what was always there. When their eyes are finally opened, they realized that their hearts were on fire as Jesus spoke to them. They had a Revelation of Fire.
For years I had grown up going through the motions of going to church on Sunday. It was our family tradition. I learned the bible stories from Genesis and on as well as the story of Christ’s birth and resurrection. However, all I saw was tradition. I was lost in that tradition never really understanding the purpose of why we were there. It was just something that we were supposed to do. I loved the church family however as I got older, I felt as if the effort to get up every Sunday morning was all for nothing. What was the point to all of this? I was blind and could not see. Because of that I left it all behind. I thought I was going to leave it all for good. However, the seed of tradition was already planted. It would be only a year later that I would find my revelation of fire. At a Wednesday night worship service when I was 15 years old, I finally felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and began a journey from my tradition to my faith in the only person who could set me and anyone else free from my bondage of sin. A fire was lit and continues to burn. As time has passed more has come into the light and into understanding. I finally understood that Christ was and is a real person and that he truly did die on a cross and truly did raise from the dead. This is more than just some religious tradition or man-made story. History records the empty tomb and it records people dying under great torture but never wavering from their faith. This is more than just tradition. It is absolute truth. Tradition is just what helps to unite us all together.
Those who are listening, watching, or reading this message have their own story. Some have grown up in a church and or tradition and have left that tradition as the tradition by itself has seem pointless and the world would tell us that it is all a bunch of lies and that there is no God. Some of you may be in that position this morning and I am here to tell you that I was there. I was blinded by my own religiosity and then blinded by the faith of the world. I had to have the truth revealed to me in a personal and powerful way before I would believe. If that is where you are at this morning, I want to let you know that it is ok and there is nothing wrong with you. However, there is a truth and there is a God and there is a savior. 1 Peter 1:17-23 tells us that we will all be judged by a father who judges each person impartially. This means that it does not matter how much good you do in the world we will still be judged for the crimes we have committed against heaven and earth. No amount of gold or silver can buy our way out of this judgment. However, there is someone who redeems us from the fate that we rightfully deserve. Jesus paid the price for our punishment on the cross and he redeems all of us from our fate if we would believe and trust in him. Scripture says, “He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” Some of you may need your own personal Revelation of fire.
Christ longs to be with us and he longs for us to know him personally. However, no tradition by itself is going to reveal that to you. It may set the foundations but only a personal relationship and experience will set you free. These are all very trying and uncertain times right now. It seems that there will be no end to this pandemic and it appears that this is now our new way of life for the time being. Covid 19 and many other things in this world may take away our lives however, they cannot take away our soul. No vaccination, no face mask, and no disinfectant can save us though from what it is that we really need saving from. These things only affect the body. However, we need to worry about protecting our soul. Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is the only true PPE that we really need in this world more than anything. The PPE of the world just helps us to stay in the world so that we can continue to bring the revelation of fire to others. Are you wearing your spiritual PPE today? The invitation is always open.