(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)
Have you considered the evidence?
21st June 2007
The start of Acts Chapter 2 describes the first time the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church:
This was God inaugurating the church as His new temple.
To see that the church is now the temple of God, see:
1 Cor 3v16
2 Cor 6v16
1 Peter 2v4-5
To see that both the tabernacle and the Old Testament temple were also inaugurated by the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, see Exodus 40, especially verses 34-35:
And 2 Chronicles chapters 5 to 7, especially verses 5v13-14 and 7v1-3:
2 Chronicles 5v13-14
2 Chronicles 7v1-3
The church is now God's temple on Earth! He demonstrated it by this powerful manifestation of His power and glory. And He continues to dwell in His church by His Spirit. It's time we started to believe it and act accordingly.
And when the Spirit comes on the church, the people around get to notice:
It's interesting that there were two very different reponses to what was happening. Some - the more open-minded observers - were "amazed and perplexed". Well, it was amazing and perplexing. People from all sorts of places were hearing these Galileans speaking in their own languages! And when we see the power of God at work in Christian people, it is both amazing and perplexing, especially if we're not used to the idea that God is powerful and actually gets involved with His people.
But other people just laughed at the church, and said they were drunk. The interesting thing about this response is that it doesn't take any account of the evidence. It's not based on rational thinking. Being drunk doesn't help you to speak in foreign languages - it just makes you worse at speaking your own.
Why did they react like that? It was either because they didn't want to believe in the power of God or because they couldn't believe in the power of God, even when it was demonstrated in front of their faces.
It's easy to dismiss the idea that God cares and acts to bring His help to His people, and to demonstrate His majesty and goodness to mankind. These people certainly managed it. But you have to ignore a huge amount of evidence. Christian people are, on average, as intelligent as other people, and they're less prone to lying (although not as much less as we would like to think). On average, they're considerably less drunk than the population as well. And they've been telling us about what God's done for them for 2000 years! There are miracles happening all over this country every day, but they don't get reported. This isn't because they're not real, it's because the news media refuse to believe the evidence.
You can ignore the evidence if you like, but please don't pretend that there isn't any. Please don't make up an excuse as lame as the one those onlookers used back in a.d. 30. Please, look at the evidence. Do you know Christian people whose lives have been transformed by God's power and love? I've met many. If you haven't, find a local church that's prepared to trust in the power of the Living God (not all churches are like this, but many are) and ask them for some evidence. They've got plenty.
Finally, this doubting the power of God isn't just a phenomenon found outside the church. There's an awful lot if it inside, as well. All of us doubt God's power and His love to some extent. But shouldn't Christians know better?
God's alive and well, and He's changing lives all over the world. Why not consider the evidence? He's able to change your life, too!