Three unusual things happened on the day of Pentecost - the rushing wind, the tongues of fire and the actual speaking in tongues. Those three things are rightly seen as “signs.” They draw our attention to something else—the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. If you focus on the signs, you miss the whole point.
The coming of the Spirit was the important event. It was the coming of the Holy Spirit that transformed Peter the denier into Peter the preacher. It was the coming of the Holy Spirit that took Thomas the doubter and turned him into Thomas the missionary. It was the coming of God’s mighty Holy Spirit which took those cowardly, fearful, doubting, hesitant disciples and made them flaming evangelists for Jesus Christ who were ready to lay down their lives for him. It was that and nothing else. It was the work of the Holy Spirit coming into ordinary men and women who transformed them from ordinary men and women into evangelists for Jesus Christ.
Just drop down to Acts 2:16. Peter is preaching now, and he says, “This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel. ’In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.’” What follows is the first great sermon of the Christian era. But the first phrase is the key. He’s saying, Don’t you understand? Joel is talking about this day. This is the day in which the Holy Spirit would come down and mighty things would happen. Peter is saying, “This is it, folks. This is the Age of the Spirit.”
We need this truth in our churches today. In the Old Testament, God sent rain from heaven to bring in the wheat harvest. In the New Testament God sends the Holy Spirit from heaven to bring in the human harvest of men and women into his kingdom. That’s the biblical significance of Pentecost.
Excerpted from "The P.U.I.H." from Keep Believing Ministries (used by permission).