Signs that God Didn’t Choose
Rev Gary Evensen
@2005 NJUPC INC
As we read through the book of Acts, which records the establishment of the church, we find as we study the eighth chapter of the book of Acts, we find that people received the Holy Spirit nut the scripture here is silent on the issue of speaking in tongues.
14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
The eighth chapter of Acts is silent on how these people received the spirit but interestingly enough, it does provide us with signs that God didn’t choose to show that someone had received the baptism of the holy spirit.
Lets look at the eighth chapter of acts in the words of the NIV bible.
1And Saul was there, giving approval to his death.
On that day a great persecution broke out
against the church at
4Those who had been scattered
preached the word wherever they went. 5Philip
went down to a city in
9Now for some time a man named
Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of
Lets notice what happened here:
We find that people were delivered from demon spirits, people were healed, people had joy, people believed on Christ, people believed the gospel, people were the recipients of great signs and miracles, they accepted the word of God, they believed on the name of Jesus Christ and they were baptized yet the scripture says that in the midst of all these great things happening Phillip had to send for Peter and John to pray that they might receive the spirit because the Holy Spirit had not yet fallen upon any of them.
Not one person who believed on Christ
Not one person who believed the gospel
Not one person who received Joy
Not one person who was delivered from Demon spirits
Not one person who was healed
Not one person who was a recipient of any of those signs and miracles
And not one person who was baptized received the baptism of the holy spirit
While the scripture here is silent on the issue of speaking in tongues it does show us that none of these were signs that God chose to indicate that the holy spirit had fallen upon a person.
You may say I know I received the spirit because I was healed – yet the scripture shows us that’s not a sign!
You may say I know I received the spirit because I had joy - yet the scripture shows us that’s not a sign!
You may say I know I received the spirit because I believed in the name of Jesus Christ – yet the scripture shows us that’s not a sign!
You may say I know I received the spirit because I was baptized and when I was baptized I received the seal of his spirit - yet the scripture shows us that’s not a sign!
Lets look into the 10th chapter of the book of Acts and look at the visitation of God upon a good and just man
Cornelius was a religious man – but that was not enough
Cornelius was a man who worshipped the true God – but that was not enough
Cornelius was a man who always prayed – but that was not enough
Cornelius was a man who was very generous and gave till it hurt – but that was not enough
His experience was simply not enough and God looked down from heaven and saw this righteous man, and God thought enough of Cornelius to send an angel to him to let him know there was a greater experience with God that awaited him.
For the path He was walking in was just not what it took!
Yes we need to be religious – but religion wont save us
Yes we need know who the One true God is – but that knowledge alone wont save you
Yes we need to always pray and not faint – but the acts of praying alone will not save you
Yes we need to give – but we cannot buy our way into heaven
You see Jesus said you’ve got to be born again and God looked from heaven and saw this good man who needed to be born again and sent an angel to him!
34Peter began to speak: “I really understand now that to God every person is the same. 35God accepts anyone who worships him and does what is right. It is not important what country a person comes from.
Peter spoke a truth here
Cornelius was a powerful man but God looks at every person the same – power and fame and wealth cannot save you
Our skin color or nationality is not important to God because according to the word of God there will be people out of every nation and every kindred and every language in heaven.
God will accept anyone who worships him and does what’s right!
That’s why he could not stand to see Cornelius be lost!
You may say to me Pastor how could you say that, how could you be so judgmental. But really Im just repeating the scripture
Lets look forward into
11At that very moment, three men
stood before the house where I was, having been sent
to me from
In a parallel account Peter told how Cornelius himself said that the angel sent from God told him to send to him and he will - who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved. -
So the angel evidently told this religious, prayerful, generous man who worshipped the true God that there was more for him.
How about you, are you a modern day Cornelius?
You love God, your generous, you always pray and worship the true God?
These are all wonderful traits but there not signs you have received the spirit..’
Maybe you’ve already believed on Christ
Maybe you’ve already believed the gospel
Maybe you’ve received Joy
Maybe you’ve been delivered from Demon spirits
Maybe you’ve already been healed
Maybe you’ve already been a recipient of signs and miracles
Yet these are not signs you’ve received the spirit!
Cornelius was humble and open to the moving of God in his life – are you?
44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
Cornelius was born again that day, he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and was baptized in Jesus name, He was born again of the water and of the spirit.
How about you? Will you turn away from signs God didn’t choose and turn towards the scriptural evidences?
Are you willing to stand and believe the word of God?