Sermons have been an integral part of Pentecostal worship services since the movement began in the early 1900s. The style and much of the substance of Pentecostal sermons reflect Pentecostalism's roots in the Second Great Awakening, an American revivalist movement which spanned the second half of the 19th Century. Pentecostal sermons are typically Bible-based, delivered with strong, emotional oratory and are aimed at eliciting a response in those who hear them.
Pentecostals disagree with one another on many things, but they agree that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that it is the only authoritative rule of faith and conduct for believers. Pentecostal sermons are are generally either topical, expository, or some combination of the two. When delivering a topical sermon, the preacher begins with an issue or topic and shows his Biblical teachings that apply to that subject. When delivering an expository sermon, the preacher begins with a passage of scripture and explains what it means and how it can be applied to the hearers' lives.
Pentecostals believe that the Holy Spirit is poured out on faithful men and women of God as they preach to empower their message. They also believe that the Holy Spirit is poured out on those who hear, enabling them to receive the message if they open themselves to it. This outpouring of God's Spirit is often referred to as the anointing. There are some Pentecostal preachers whose mannerisms are reserved, but most Pentecostal preachers deliver their sermons with fiery, emotional oratory.
Pentecostal sermons are usually preached with the aim of eliciting a response in the hearers. The desired response may be for hearers to receive Jesus Christ as savior, to repent of sin, to pray for physical or spiritual healing, to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Pentecostal sermons often conclude with an altar call, in which those who hear the message are invited to come forward in response to the message. During an altar call, Pentecostal ministers often lead the respondents in prayer. Alternately, they may pray individually with those who have responded to the message.
Common Pentecostal Sermon Topics
Pentecostal sermons may cover any Biblical topic. Alternately, they may apply Biblical teachings to any topic the preacher believes the Spirit of God has led him or her to preach about. Like most Christian sermons, Pentecostal sermons often cover topics such as sin, salvation, Heaven and Hell, and godly living. Pentecostal sermons are more likely than most other Christian sermons to cover topics relating to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, prophecy, and divine healing.
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