Vickie and I were ministering in one of our Holy Spirit Rallies some time ago and had something happen that caught me by surprise. I remember that Sunday morning service ever so clearly. Everything was going great as I spoke about the promise of the Holy Spirit. I could tell that I had everyone on board with me. Who would want to argue with me about God promising (Joel 2:28-29) and later Jesus echoing (Acts 1:4-5) the promised arrival of the Holy Spirit? After all, it’s there in Bible, right?
The service continued on and went great until I mentioned that this promise came with the benefit of praying in the Spirit (also known as praying in other tongues). I wish that you could have seen the sudden change on the faces of some of the people in that congregation. It was as though I had uttered a profanity. If I read their faces correctly (and I did), there was a major dislike about the subject of praying in other tongues. From what I saw, they were anxious for me to move on to something else, anything else, or just quit preaching.
I know this to be true. I recognize that in every Holy Spirit Rally, we are privileged to have people in the congregation from every kind of denominational background. Our services are what I call Baskin-Robbins gatherings because we gather most if not all thirty-one flavors of Christianity. These are people who love Jesus just as much as I do. But, because of a lack of knowledge, I know that their minds immediately begin to blame the Pentecostals and Charismatics.
Here is what I have learned to do when this happens in our Holy Spirit Rallies. When the looks begin to appear, I just need to instruct the people to open the scriptures and then lovingly add these words “blame Jesus”. You see, in the scriptures, we see that Jesus was the first to bring up the subject of speaking in other tongues. (Mark 16:17). Blame Jesus. Second, Jesus did not say that if you are of this denomination or this fellowship that you will speak in tongues, did He? He wasn’t speaking to a particular denominational gathering when He spoke these words. He was speaking to believers. (Mark 16:17). Blame Jesus. Third, when Jesus commanded (not suggested) His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high, don’t you think that Jesus knew that speaking in tongues would accompany the sending of the Holy Spirit? Jesus knew exactly what would happen. (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; Acts 2:1-4). Blame Jesus. When looking at these three points, it is easy to see that this isn’t a denominational matter, it’s a Jesus blessing.
I don’t need to add anything else. As usual, I have said more than enough. Oh, I will add one more thing…bountiful blessings upon you and yours! Billy