OSUN CHRISTIANS SET TO CELEBRATE PENTECOST DAY
Pentecost comes from the Greek word pentekoste, (also known as Whit Sunday or Whitsunday), is a Christian holiday which always takes place on the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) after Easter Sunday. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks. This important event in the Christian faith is described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1-31).
The purpose of Pentecost Day Celebration is to remind every Christian that even though Christ died for our sins, and through salvation, He accepts the forgiveness of our sins, there is something else each one of us needs to do. We need to receive the Holy Spirit so we can do the work of discipleship that awaits each one of us.
THE BIRTH OF PENTECOST DAY IN NEW TESTAMENT
Traditionally for the Jews, Pentecost was a festival, which brought all adult Jewish men back to Jerusalem for the celebration, it was a holiday. No work was done, instead people gathered for a great celebration. The biblical requirements for this celebration are in Deuteronomy 16, verses 10-12: to appear before God with a freewill offering; rejoicing; and remembering they were once slaves. Everyone was expected in this gathering: sons, daughters, servants, Levites including the strangers, fatherless and widows.
By the time the apostles appeared on the scene in the New Testament book of Acts, the tradition was still very much in place, hence the presence of a crowd in Jerusalem at the time. The Bible claims there were pilgrims from different parts of the world. To a greater degree, the events of the celebration of Pentecost in the second chapter of the book of Acts gave birth to the more contemporary understanding of Pentecost. “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4
This experience of the infilling of the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking in other tongues resulted in the conversion of 3,000 people to Christianity because of Peter’s preaching. Thus, ‘the new church’ was born. As a result, Pentecost is also regarded as the church’s birthday.
SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF PENTECOST TODAY
- Power: The recognition that it is the Holy Spirit that empowers the church. Without Him, the church will be ineffective in their witness of Christ. God desires to pour His Spirit on the church for the purpose of missions, so that” the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).
- Unity: The Spirit was poured on the church as they were unified in their gathering. The Bible records that the disciples were ‘with one accord’.
- Multiplication: As a result of the message preached by Peter, three thousands were added to them, thus enabling the mission to become a movement.
IMPORTANCE OF PENTECOST DAY CELEBRATION
- It marks the beginning of the new life that Christians enjoy after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ Act 2:1.
- It ushers a new dawn of the manifestation of the seven fold spirit of God that enhances, progress, creativity, innovation, discoveries in all fields of human endeavour.
- It ushers greater evangelism by believers.
- It brings revival in our spiritual lives.
- Release of power for signs and wonders.
- The threat to peaceful living by the malevolent forces of wickedness in our State and the country can only be overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- The presence of God’s Spirit guarantees a peaceful co-existence among all men.
THE NEED FOR PENTECOST DAY CELEBRATION
- It is time for Christians to speak with one voice on issues that concern the unhindered practice of our FAITH, preservation of our HERITAGE and ADVANCEMENT of God’s kingdom.
- It is time to also call attention to areas where we have not been duly recognised.
- It is time to pray for peace and harmony in our country; it is time to resist spirits that provoke and promote bloodshed, violence and chaos in our nation.
- It is time to destroy all the altars of false gods with heavenly fire; known and unknown.
DECLARATION OF PENTECOST DAY AS PUBLIC HOLIDAY
Pentecost Day is a public holiday in many European countries and even some African countries as well. It is the day that is regarded as the “birthday of the church” due to the importance of the role of the Holy Spirit in the Christian faith. The countries that celebrate Pentecost as a public holiday include; Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Ukraine, Sweden and neighbouring countries like Senegal, Benin Republic, and Togo.
REQUEST BY THE OSUN CHRISTIANS TO DECLARE PENTECOST DAY A PUBLIC HOLIDAY IN OSUN STATE
The request of Osun Christians to declare Pentecost Day as a public holiday in Osun State, Nigeria will not be out of place, but will confirm the status of the State as the pacesetter on matters of religion in Nigeria.
However, the first edition of Pentecost Day was celebrated by Christians in Osun State on 9th June, 2014. Christians all over Osun State from different denominations gathered together to celebrate Holy Spirit, the Comforter of the saints. In his preaching, the presiding Bishop of Victory Life Ministries International and also the convener of Pentecost Day Celebration in Osun State, Bishop Mike Bamidele shed more light on the need to celebrate Holy Spirit the Comforter of Christians. He made a request to then Governor of the State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to grant a public holiday for this purpose especially as two new additional public holidays had been granted for Muslims and indigenous religion worshipers. This request is yet to be approved by the State Government.
As Osun Christians set to celebrate the 10th edition of Pentecost Day in Osun State, all efforts are in top gear to ensure a successful celebration. Programmes lineup for this year celebration include: Holy Ghost rally in the morning, from Olaiya junction to Government Technical College, Osogbo, along Iwo/Ibadan road Osogbo. This will follow by Ministers’ conference, where ministers of gospel in the Osun State will be praying for fresh unction and fire, follow by Pentecost Day Celebration which will kick off exactly 3:00pm. This year Pentecost Day Celebration will be coming up on 29th May, 2023 at Government technical College, Osogbo. According to the chairman of central planning committee, Pastor Kunle Oke, he said, “This year edition will usher every participant into unprecedented liftings in all their life’s pursuits” He said further, “Everyone should come with an expectation because all expectations shall be met by almighty God.
In his reaction to this year edition, Bishop Mike Bamidele reiterated that in this year edition, everyone will be supernaturally empowered. He said, “Holy Spirit will make the ordinary people to become extra-ordinary. The operations of the devil in the lives of the people will cease permanently because Holy Spirit will take over. Men will be inspired to do new things through Holy Spirit. Lives will experience forward movement.” He also said, “The greatest empowerment in human history is the release of God’s power on mankind.” He said further that this year will be a special edition because there will be a change of leadership in government in Nigeria. Also the same will happen in the spirit realm to set a new government in motion. “Everyone should be come with an expectation of the release of God’s power for a new beginning.” He concluded.
PHOTOS FROM THE PREVIOUS EDITIONS
July 02, 2023
January 23, 2023