May 25, 2015The Christian Post – Leonardo Blair

Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, tells Spirit-filled Christians at the Empowered21 Global Congress to stand up for their faith at the Jerusalem Pais Arena in Israel on Sunday May 24, 2015.

In a high-energy parting shot to a gathering of several thousand Spirit-filled believers at the closing session of the Empowered21 Global Congress in Jerusalem, Israel on Sunday, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Samuel Rodriguez warned that “there is no such thing as comfortable Christianity” and urged the group to use the power God gave them to declare Him to the world.

“When you are filled with God’s Spirit everything changes. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you are able to do what you were not able to do before. The Spirit came down and Peter did what? He raised his voice…Listen carefully, religion makes us complacent while revival makes us courageous. Today’s complacency is tomorrow’s captivity,” he warned.

Preaching from Acts 2:14 highlighting the reaction of the Apostle Peter after the initial descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, Rodriguez urged the believers to “be filled, stand up, and raise your voice.”

In Acts 2, after the Holy Spirit had first descended, it said of those who had witnessed it: “And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, these men are full of new wine.”

It was Peter, however, who stood up and explained.

“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words,” said the Scripture.

“For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel,” the Scripture continued.

Rodriguez, highlighted that this was the same Peter that before the cross and the Pentecost experience, hid in the crowd. After having the Spirit-filled encounter, however, Peter was emboldened to stand up this time despite the mockery.

“There is no such thing as comfortable Christianity. So let me be clear right now, the Spirit did not come down so we could stay seated. The Spirit did not come down so we could stay complacent. The spirit did not come down so we could say Kumbaya. The Holy Spirit came down so we could…change the world for Jesus,” said Rodriguez.

“The Spirit of God came down so we could push back the complacency and apathy. Full of the Holy Spirit, in the face of false accusations, they were accused of being drunk, Peter stood up and spoke truth, full of the Holy Spirit,” he continued.

“Just like with Peter, the accuser has risen, labelling us as intolerant, bigoted and irrelevant. Just like with Stephen, the enemy threatens, persecutes and slaughters our brothers and sisters, people of the cross. And just like with Paul, we find ourselves under immense spiritual warfare. Where all hell has risen to impede us from occupying what God has brought us. And just like the apostle in Acts 27, the storms of relativism, decadence, and apathy threaten to do nothing less than drown those in our ships. So what are we gonna do?” he asked.

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