Our study this week centers on the epic event in Church History known as Pentecost. Acts 2 records the fulfillment of the promise of the prophets reiterated by Jesus that the Holy Spirit would be poured out on God’s people. You may well ask, “What difference did it make?” In other words, do people that have the Spirit live any differently than those who do not have Him? Perhaps you see the fruit of the Spirit imitated in the lives of unbelievers and you know some cranky so-called believers and you wonder what difference the Holy Spirit even makes. This is a rather complicated subject that I hope to address in the weeks to come but for now let’s start with this. Let’s say, for the sake of illustration, that an unbeliever and a believer appear the same. They both do well in school, they take the moral high ground with regard to sexual practices and they marry well. They both raise decent children and care for them wisely. Both individuals are a pleasure to work with and they are kind to their neighbors. Both give to charity and both volunteer their time. Both of them refuse to commit adultery and they work through marriage issues and stick it out in spite of the struggles. In their retirement, they go to their grandchildren’s sporting events, spend time with their families in a selfless commitment to other’s wellbeing and spend in month in Florida with nice people. So far, so good. One could conclude that there is really no need for the Holy Spirit since one of these persons looks like the other in every way. But then, the inevitable happens. They both die. The ministry of the Holy Spirit was refused by one but received by the other. Personally, I don’t think my illustration is true in real life but even if it was, we still have to deal with what is to come. We’re told in the epistles that the Holy Spirit is the down payment for our future inheritance. People may have a fine upbringing and make good choices, be blessed with a pleasant personality, give of their resources and spend eternity separated from God. Lacking the new birth, only one destination was possible. The power of the Holy Spirit should make a difference in this life but He definitely makes the life to come different. Do you have the Holy Spirit? Romans 8:9, “…if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” So yes, the Holy Spirit makes a difference in this life and the life to come.