What is Pentecost? When is Pentecost for 2017? Date and details

Christians celebrate Pentecost as the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles after the resurrected Jesus Christ ascended into heaven.

Jesus' followers were downcast after his crucifixion and death, and they were being monitored by authorities. However, their hope was revived when they saw the resurrected Christ, who promised the baptism of the Holy Spirit several days after his ascension.

(REUTERS / Carlo Allegri)Donald Trump attends a church service in Detroit, Michigan. September 21, 2016.

Acts 2:1-13 tells the story of Jesus' ascension and the Pentecost. After Christ left, the disciples felt afraid and gathered to pray inside a room. In the middle of their prayers, a loud blowing sound was heard and tongues of fire were seen on each of the disciples' heads. The experience empowered the disciples to spread the Gospel to other places.

Pentecost Sunday comes from the Greek word "pentekoste," which means "fiftieth." The name of the holy occasion came about because the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples 50 days after Easter Sunday, or the seventh Sunday from Easter.

This year, Pentecost Sunday falls on June 4. For Pentecostal Christians, who are the "most ardent followers of the Holy Spirit," the occasion is extra special because it marks the birth of Christianity and the start of the Great Commission specified in Matthew 18:19-20. The passage contains the command to make disciples in different countries.

Aside from that, Christians take time during Pentecost to thank God for sending the Holy Spirit to enable them to spread the Gospel even after their leader was no longer physically with them. At the time, they felt alone and afraid, but the baptism of the Holy Ghost gave them such boldness in preaching the Word even if it meant putting their lives on the line.

The early Christians'' boldness in sharing the Gospel can only come from the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 says the Holy Ghost grants people seven kinds of gifts, including wisdom and fear of the Lord which they can use while witnessing for God.

At present, the Holy Spirit manifests itself in the growth of the Christian faith all over the world. Despite Christians being minorities in certain countries, churches and ministries in these places continue to expand.