Today, while going through some books on my bookshelves, I rediscovered J.B. Phillips’ The Young Church in Action. This book, published in 1955, is Phillips’ translation of the Book of Acts which was to be included later in his New Testament in Modern English. I was excited to browse through The Young Church in Action because it included his preface to the Acts of the Apostles which was removed once the entire New Testament translation was completed. It’s in this preface that I read:
“It is impossible to spend several months in close study of the remarkable short book, conventionally known as the Acts of the Apostles, without being profoundly stirred and, to be honest, disturbed. The reader is stirred because he is seeing Christianity, the real thing, in action for the first time in human history…Here we are seeing the Church in its first youth, valiant and unspoiled – a body of ordinary men and women joined in an unconquerable fellowship never before seen on this earth.’
‘Yet we cannot help feeling disturbed as well as moved, for this surely is the Church as it was meant to be. It is vigorous and flexible, for these are the days before it ever became fat and short of breath through prosperity, or musclebound by over organization. These men did not make “acts of faith,” they believed; they did not “say their prayers,” they really prayed. They did not hold conferences on psychosomatic medicine, they simply healed the sick. But if they were uncomplicated and naive by modern standards, we have ruefully to admit that they were open on the God-ward side in a way that is almost unknown today.”
After I read these two paragraphs, I thought to myself about how Phillips’ commentary written almost 70 years ago accurately describes much of what is happening (or not happening) in today’s church. Do you agree with me? That’s enough to get a person depressed! But, fortunately, I didn’t stop with that thought. I realized that his commentary doesn’t present the total picture. My spirit immediately began to rejoice because I am seeing today a mighty, fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Salvations. Signs and wonders. Holy Spirit baptisms. Holy Spirit surprises. I know that I know that I know that because of individuals like you who are longing for the presence and power of God, there is a spiritual shift happening across our land. In all 31 Baskin-Robbins flavors of Christianity, we are once again seeing, to use Phillips’ words, “the real thing”.
I know that over and over again you have heard me announce in our Holy Spirit Rallies and write in these blog posts “TODAY is the day of the Holy Ghost”. Listen, my friend, it’s not off in the future. It is TODAY! These are Book of Acts days. Everything, not some things, not a few things, EVERYTHING found in the Book of Acts is happening TODAY! And, are you ready for this? The best part is that you and I get to be a part of this powerful move of the Holy Spirit. I’ll write it one more time – TODAY is the day of the Holy Ghost. Glory be to God!