The Passionate Church
Being the Church in an Age of Offense
*in ebook and paperback
The church cries out for revival and the sweeping power of the Holy Spirit, to see lives changed and bodies healed as in the book of Acts, and this the promise of Jehovah. The church has been sent to GO and do GREATER WORKS than those told in the gospels.
What then keeps the church from an amazing demonstration of God’s presence?
In a study of the Scriptures, author, SUZANNE D. WILLIAMS, describes the church as God expects it to be – a loving, forgiving church, free of condemnation and criticisms, submissive to people, honoring government, and incredibly generous. A PASSIONATE CHURCH, on fire for the things of God and “willing and obedient” to God’s principles as demonstrated in the life, death, and Resurrection of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Excerpt, Chapter 3, "The Church of Acts":
The people listening to the ruckus on the day of Pentecost were full of wonder at the noise they heard, and I can understand why. Imagine you’ve come to observe Pentecost, or maybe you’re doing business in the city. You’ve done this many times before and never seen or heard such a racket.
“What’s goin’ on here? These people have been drinking,” the onlookers said. (Act 2:12-13)
This amuses me. I’ve watched a lot of reality crime shows over the years and have yet to see a drunk man or woman speak fluently in any language, much less a large group of them as described here in Acts.
But Peter. Oh, Peter. I love Peter. No one was more PASSIONATE for Christ. Peter set them straight.
“For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But THIS IS THAT which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” (Acts 2:15-16)
This is THAT. That POWER prophesied. That JESUS, who God raised from the dead. That FIRE of the Holy Ghost, spoken of by John. That AUTHORITY to GO into the world and make disciples.
This is that commission to be WITNESSES unto the far parts of the earth.
This is that, which HEALED and SAVED and set people FREE.
This is Him, who you crucified and considered dead and gone. This is that RESURRECTION, which rolled the stone away. This is He, who appeared to us many times after His death, who spoke life and truth and peace.
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man APPROVED OF GOD AMONG YOU BY MIRACLES AND WONDERS AND SIGNS, WHICH GOD DID BY HIM in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know … Whom God hath raised up, HAVING LOOSED the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it … THIS JESUS hath God raised up, whereof WE ALL ARE WITNESSES. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, HE HATH SHED FORTH THIS, WHICH YE NOW SEE AND HEAR.” (Acts 2:22, 24, 32-33)
This is that. That God. That Spirit. That sacrifice. That victory.
“This is your freedom,” Peter said.
“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and YE SHALL RECEIVE the gift of the Holy Ghost. FOR THE PROMISE IS UNTO YOU, AND TO YOUR CHILDREN, AND TO ALL THAT ARE AFAR OFF, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:38-39)
This is that change you’ve been looking for. That HEALING you’ve been seeking. That DELIVERANCE you’ve searched to find. This is GOD ACCOMPLISHED in men. This is CHRIST, the Messiah.
This is salvation from sins. This is the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is the church.
How we long to see Him work in power amongst us still. Who doesn’t seek the Lord when a loved one is gravely ill? Who fails to pray over a sick child? Who sees a grandmother pass away and doesn’t picture her in heaven? Even those without God do that. We, the church, should desire these signs and wonders even more. Greater, we are filled with the Spirit and, being filled, should WITNESS of His delivering power.
We cannot limit the goodness of God to the four gospels. We cannot terminate it in the book of Acts. The church should be where anyone can come to be made WHOLE. This was God’s will in Acts, and it is God’s will still. Though the pages of the Bible reach an ending, the truths in it do not.
We are called to “ACTS” LIKE HIM. We are to turn a hurting world, in every sense of the word, to a loving, forgiving, healing Jesus.
About 3,000 people were saved that day, after Peter’s preaching.
“And fear came upon every soul: and many WONDERS and SIGNS were done BY THE APOSTLES.” (Act 2:43) Because the Holy Spirit had come, and friend, at no time has He left or lifted His hands from the earth since then.
The only hindrance to the next miracle is within ourselves.
Suzanne D. Williams, Author