Summary: Why is the Ascension of Christ so important to us today? What are the promises He made when he left?
Iliff & Saltillo
May 23, 2004
"Seeing Him Go"
INTRODUCTION: Although Jesus had discouraged his followers from expecting an earthly kingdom, the idea was deeply ingrained in them that they couldn’t forget it. After the resurrection, Jesus was seen by them forty days. He showed many proofs that he was alive and talked with them about things pertaining to His kingdom. He let them know that the true task of the believer was not to worry about future happenings but to be witnesses for Christ beginning where they were and reaching out as far as their influences and resources would carry them. Acts 1:8 says, "You shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and to the uttermost part of the earth." As he finished speaking while others stood by watching, Jesus was taken up into heaven. The onlookers stood in awe and two angels spoke to them. They said, "Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).
This message has been preached over and over throughout the centuries.
What does it say to us today?
1. The Fact of Christ’s Coming--Christianity was revealed to the world in a historical setting and spiritual truth was brought into the world within this same historical context. The return of Jesus to earth is not something that people said SHOULD happen someday maybe, but that Scripture says WILL happen. There are many scriptures that we should know about concerning this fact. Many people spend all of their time worrying about the end timesand living in fear of what will happen on the earth. When will He come? Will I have to go through the tribulation? What about the antichrist? Because of this fear, people are failing to do what the scriptures say we should be doing--spreading the Good News in our Jerusalems, Samarias, and throughout the world.
There are many scriptures that we need to be aware of which speaks of His coming so that we will not be deceived. You may want to jot down these references:
1. Matthew 24:30 "And they shall see the Son of man coming IN CLOUDS of heaven with power and great glory." Jesus warned his disciples not to believe people who say there he is or say they are Christ.
2. I Thess. 1:10 "And to WAIT FOR his Son from heaven whom he raised from the dead which delivered us from the wrath to come."
3. I Thess. 3:13 "To the end he may ESTABLISH YOUR HEARTS unblamable in holiness before God even our Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints."
4. I Thess. 4:16-18 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God: AND THE DEAD IN cHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST.
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore COMFORT one another with these words.
Story: A Presbyterian lady was listening to a Baptist preacher. He said the Baptists will rise first when the trumpet blows. She said, "I’m offended at that remark. I’ve always been taught the Presbyterians will rise first."