Summary: No one really likes change. However, change is not only a sign of a healthy church, it is also Biblical

"Change is Constant"

Acts 1: 9-11

January 20, 2002

I. Intro

A) Joke: How many church board members does it take to change a light bulb? (Make up as many humorous excuses as you can think of i.e. I like sitting in the dark, does the church want us to change the light bulb, can we afford to change the light bulb etc.)

B) Today’s Text is a simple familiar story

1) written non eventfully

C) But very significant in History, for disciples, and for us

II. Read Text: Acts 1: 9-11

A) also be looking at Luke 24:44-53

1) significant enough that Luke recorded it twice

B) Before we continue consider the journey the disciples have been through

1) Started out invisible or despised (not recognized or respected)

2) Now they are on the edge of doing great things for God

3) Trained (taught, watched, did)

4) Almost fully equipped (opened minds, given mission and direction, HS not come yet)

5) Encouraged (40 days of convincing proofs, Ascension)

III. Significance of Ascension

A) Phase I of God’s plan (What God would do) is coming to a glorious, majestic and victorious close

1) Need of salvation

2) Jesus sacrificed to give it (Heaven, his glory, his body, his life)

3) Teaching, training, and investing into his disciples

a) He opened their minds so that they could understand Scripture (Luke 24: 45)

b) He blessed them (Luke 24: 50-51)

B) Phase II is beginning (What disciples throughout the generations would do)

1) Jesus not coming back until the appointed time

2) Departure made way for the promised Holy Spirit

3) Glory proved He was God

a) cloud not a storm cloud but the cloud that filled the temple with the glory of the lord

IV. Significance of Angels Message

A) Same Jesus – Not a different one

B) Same way – not a different way

C) QUESTION: If return will be the same, in what way did He ascend?

1) from a geographic location; the Mt. of Olives (Zech.14:4)

2) Glorified

3) Eternal

4) Powerful

5) Decisive (Obvious)

a) Won’t be missed or open for interpretation

V. Significance for Us Today

When we understand the ascension of Christ, we look forward to His imminent return and appropriate our present ministry as well.

A) Ascension and Angels Message

1) Confidence (He is who He said He is)

2) Hope (He will do what He said He will do)

3) Purpose

a) We find ourselves between two wonderful positions

1) Phase 1 (God’s glorious gift of salvation)

2) Phase 3 (God’s glorious return)

b) Phase 2 (where we are now)

1) there are needs to be met

2) Care to be given

3) Message to be shared

4) Ministry to be carried on

VI. All this creates a platform for change

GIVEN: Today we are all thankful that Jesus provided Salvation and the disciples were willing to make sacrifices and changes in order to rise to the challenge of Phase 2

A) Change is scary some comfort is needed

B) Change is Biblical

1) Jesus gave up heaven

a) Don’t like the style of worship music? Consider the worship Jesus Gave up in heaven to come here to earth!

2) Disciples changed a great deal

a) Life

b) View of worship and the "church"

c) Understanding of the Messiah

d) Priorities

e) Peter (Simon) and Matthew (Levi) and eventually Paul(Saul) even had their names changed

C) Change is what salvation is all about

1) Changes our eternal destiny

2) Changes our outlook on life

3) Changes the way we see others

4) Changes the way we prioritize our time

5) List goes on and on

VII. Closing

A) Don’t ask What WOULD Jesus Do? Rather ask What DID Jesus Do?

B) Become Christ like (What does that mean)

1) Christ recognized that the day would come when we would not “make the cut”

2) Gave up the glory of Heaven in order to sacrifice his body to provide salvation (He made changes)

3) Sought after those that were in need of hope, healing, and love; and He met that need (He changed the way "church" was done)

4) Today we recognize that there will come a day when He will return. (Another change)

5) Now that we have been rescued from our hopeless condition (Changed by the Holy Spirit and the grace of God) what are we willing to sacrifice (change) so that others can “make the cut”

C) Remember that Jesus can take the invisible people and give them worth, purpose and hope. But He also wants to work through them in order to make a difference in the lives of others.

1) If you are feeling invisible today, Jesus is looking for you! Jesus has a purpose for you!

D) Are you willing to make changes so lost can be changed?

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