Summary: What was on the mind of both Jesus and the Disciples as He prepared to leave this earth.
• This passage at the beginning of the Book of Acts shows Jesus and many followers gathered as He is about to leave this earth.
Lynne is one of those people that thinks of things at the last moment. You may spend 2 hours with her and she may say very little but as you are leaving, as the door itself is shutting you will hear in the distance a last word or instruction. Usually half of the sentence before the door shut so the other was lost in the shutting. One last important word before you go.
• We discover here what is on the mind of the disciples as they know they are at the last opportunity to find an answer. We also discover what is on the mind of Jesus as He wants to make sure they know what they need to know to be the church they need to be.
• If you drive through the Dallas area you might see from time to time what looks like a new shopping mall having been built. You soon realize that it is actually a church building the size of a mall that many come to for a service on the weekend. There is the appearance that Christianity might be growing in this country but the opposite is true.
a. Less people are gathering in larger places which demand less accountability and more anonymity.
b. One man I read stated:
The church in America is declining in almost every important area.
1> Baptisms down 2/3 in thirty years.
2> Real income is down.
3> Attendance in church and Sunday School is down.
What can we do to reverse this?
a) Pray about it? Few come to prayer meeting, which lasts one hour.
b) Make plans for growth? Some of the most unpopular words in church ...life: Evangelism. Discipleship. Stewardship. Missions.
Walter Martin says it's a tragedy, but the average Christian can be taken apart by a 90-day wonder out of the Jehovah's Witnesses in about 30 minutes.
“We in the Church are so worried about fitting in. We are so worried about relating. We are so worried about being cool that we have forgotten what it is to make a stand for what is true.
My fear is that instead of the church turning the world upside down, the world is turning the church upside down.” Greg Laurie
C.S.Lewis: "How little people know who think that holiness is dull.
When one meets the real thing...it is irrestible.
If even 10% of the world's population had it, the whole world would be converted and happy before a year's end
• Jesus was concerned the church would not lose a sense of what would make it successful.
HIS LAST DAYS ON EARTH: 3 After His suffering, He showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
• We see that this moment follows a series of amazing events that came after the crucifixion. Jesus gave many CONVINCING PROOFS over a period of 40 days and spoke about the KINGDOM.
• Those who were seeing these proofs and hearing these truths had one specific question on their mind. Jesus wanted to make sure they understood what to expect so that they would not miss it.
4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
• There is something that is so important for your success that you don’t want to do anything, go anywhere without making sure that this particular item is how it should be in the life of the church.
Imagine a kid heading off to college, passing a new car parked in the driveway with a bow on it, and getting on a passing bus headed to the university. His time at school is spent with long hard walks, limited freedom to move about, lack of ability to connect with others he would like to reach out to. What caused his time at school to be harder than it had to be? He is trying to do it without the FATHER’S GIFT that he didn’t take time to discover.
• What is the Father’s gift to the church that Jesus said is worth waiting for?
How many of us go though our Baptist lives without making sure we are gifted up, filled with the Spirit, clothed in the armor of God, prayed up, promised up and prepared to do the work of the Kingdom?