Mistaking Effect for Cause

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. —Acts 2:4

No matter how sincere they may be, ministers without discernment are sure to err. Their conclusions are inevitably false because their reasoning is mechanical and without inspiration. I hear their error in our pulpits and read it in our religious periodicals; and it all sounds alike: revived churches engage in foreign missions; hence let us plunge into missionary activity and spiritual refreshing is sure to follow. The healthy church wins souls; let us begin to win souls and we will surely be revived. The early Church enjoyed miracles, so letís begin to expect mighty signs and wonders and we will soon be like the early Church. We have neglected the ìsocial implicationsî of the gospel; let us engage in political activities and charitable endeavors and all will be well again.
Miserable counselors these, and physicians of no value. Their advice is not only poor; it is spiritually damaging.

What doctor in his right mind would tell a patient dying of tuberculosis, ìHealthy men play football; go out and play ball and you will regain your healthî? Such advice given under such circumstances would reveal only that effect was being mistaken for cause; and that is exactly what is happening these days in religious circles. The effects of revival are being mistaken for the causes of revival. And this to the confusion of everyone concerned and to the effective blocking of the spiritual refreshing for which so many are praying.

Lord, without the Spirit's empowerment we vainly try to produce spiritual effects and end up with something altogether different. Forgive us!

How would the Book of Acts have read had there have been no Pentecost event in chapter two? Unquestionably the record would have ended with chapter one. It is the filling of the Spirit that equips for Spirit-empowered ministry.

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