In one accord: Homothumadon

Published 2:46 pm Friday, June 2, 2017

This Sunday, June 4th, is a special day for the church. It is the day of Pentecost. Pentecost comes from a Greek word, “pentekoste,” meaning 50. That our Christian feast of Pentecost occurs 50 days after the Resurrection, concluding the Easter season, is not by chance. Pentecost was an ancient Jewish holiday during which the Hebrews celebrated the wheat harvest. The celebration was also known as the feast of Weeks, which, in accordance with the Old Testament Book of Leviticus, was to be commemorated 50 days after the Passover. Jewish tradition holds that Moses was given the Ten Commandments 50 days after the original Passover, when the Israelites escaped Egyptian bondage. On the fiftieth day after the resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Ghost came down in the upper room where they had gathered and filled each of the men and women present. There was something very special about this first gathering of the church.

They met in one heart, one mind, and in one accord! It was perfect unity! Homothumadon: This unique Greek word occurs 12 times in the New Testament; 10 of those appear in the Book of Acts. The word helps us understand the distinctiveness of the Christian community. Ho-moth-umadon is a compound of two words meaning to “rush along” and “in unison.” The image is almost musical. Musical notes on the scale, while different, harmonize in pitch and tone. As the instruments of a great concert under the direction of a concert master, so the Holy Spirit blends together the lives of members of Christ’s church.
These men and women laid aside their differences and had all things in common. Here is what happened on the day of Pentecost according to Acts chapter 2, “And when the day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
Their focus was Jesus, and nothing else mattered. In fact, that was exactly what Jesus had prayed before his ascension into Heaven for them and the present day church. John 17:11, 20-23, “11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”
Unity is of utmost importance to the existence of the church, and no one knows that better than Satan. In the original group, there were incredible tensions. James and John outraged the other disciples when they asked to sit by Jesus in Heaven. Earlier on this same evening, the disciples were fuming with rage because there had been an argument among them as to who was the greatest. In fact, in that little group, there were all kinds of strains. There was Matthew the Publican who had sold out to Rome and Simon Peter the Zealot who had pledged to kill people like Matthew the Publican. You can see why Jesus asked the Father to unite these men and to make them one. God the Father did just that, and the results were astonishing! Thousands upon thousands came to know Jesus, and joined this first church. To say the first church was successful is an understatement.
Satan knew in order for the first church to fail, he needed to introduce division into the group. Soon the disagreements seeped in and things begin to change. Apostle Paul battled this division on all fronts, and in all the churches. Many felt the need to circumcise and others saw no purpose in it. Arguments broke out in the church over what should be eaten, and they disputed if the Gentiles could even be accepted into the family of God. Instead of communion, they were using the occasion as a time to party. These disputes and divisions hurt the church, and today we are still battling these divisions but over different matters.
We need homothumadon today in the church. If we could be in one accord over the virgin birth, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and that all humanity need a relationship with Jesus, we could see the Lord begin to move again in the church, and souls would be saved in mass quantity. The world has set back and watched the church argue and fuss, and the world does not want to become a part of something that is going to add more stress to their lives. The world needs to see the church united in Christ Jesus, not bickering over the nonessentials. Jesus said in Mark 3:25, “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” If the church would stick to preaching, teaching, singing, praising, and worshiping Jesus, all would be well, but when we argue over the nonessentials, we are destroying ourselves! In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love!
Let’s pray for homothumadon in today’s church. Satan knows that through division a church will fall, and that in unity the power of God is made manifested. The church of Jesus Christ must be united, but also the individual local church must be as well. The results of unity would be staggering. Allow Pentecost to be a reminder of what perfect unity can bring!
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, Hunter Greene.)

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