Summary: Jesus Christ gives His Church the power needed to share the good news
One of the things that has always amazed and even perplexed me is how excited the church gets when we start talking about going to heaven. We seem to get more excited about songs and psalms that talk about going to heaven than we do about anything else:
- Going up yonder to be with my Lord
- Soon and very soon we are going to see the King
- Oh I want to see Him look upon His face, there to sing forever of His saving grace
- Some glad morning when this life is over I’ll over, I’ll fly away
- Caught up to meet, joy and happiness will be mine
- The King is coming
When one looks at the church it would appear that our philosophy is that the Lord saved us strictly to get us to heaven. We seem to get excited and shout and rejoice about going to heaven; we spend more time thinking about heaven than we do thinking about earth.
It’s the same thing that happens here in this text—the event of the story—it’s post-resurrection—Jesus has been around for some 40 days or so. And now He’s getting ready to go back up into heaven. And the word of the Lord declares that—as He goes up—the men that He had been talking to were gazing (verse 10) into heaven. They were gazing; they were caught looking up into heaven.
And the Lord revealed to me that one of the things that is wrong with the church of the Living God is that every since that day that that is what we’ve been perfecting—GAZING into heaven, waiting to go and be with Jesus.
And every since that day of the ascension of our Lord all we’ve been concentrating upon is GAZING instead of GOING.
- All we appear to concentrate upon is getting caught up into Heaven/be with the Lord/in our mansion/in the streets that are paved with gold/when the wicked shall cease from troubling and the weary shall be at rest.
But the problem is that we are so enamored and caught in gazing at heaven that we are not paying attention to the hell being raised on earth.
• I believe that one of the reasons that the city is going to hell in a hand-basket is because the church is too busy GAZING.
Gazing (emblepontes) which denotes gaping, gawking, intently looking, staring and watching.
• The reason the drug boys are taking over the corner is because the church is too busy gazing.
• The reason young girls are getting pregnant at ages earlier than ever is because the church is so busy gazing.
• The reason the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is because the church is so busy gazing.
• We come to church, sing and shout, and declare that we are on our way to heaven—but then we walk by people who are homeless; we walk by persons who can’t find jobs; we walk past teenagers who are getting high on the corner—because we are so busy gazing that we are not going.
But I have come to declare a prophetic word upon the body of Christ today; and that is what Jesus said to them in that day
- He has not called us to be gazers; He has called us to be witnesses.
- He has not called for us solely to shout about going to Heaven; He has called for us to talk about going into the world and telling everybody that there is a Savior Who can save you from your sins.
• You and I are not called to GAZE, we are called to TESTIFY.
To testify means to show, to confirm, to live out, to bear out, the demonstrate, to exemplify and to give evidence. It means to give confirmation, outer affirmation, substantiation, and verifiable proof and logical support.
• It’s about your life AND your lips.
• It’s about your words AND your works.
• It’s about your worship AND your witness.
David put it this way: The redeemed of the Lord ought to ‘say so’. The words, ‘say so’ in the Hebrew tongue is aw’mar which meant to tell, make known, make public, to advertise, to publish, to broadcast, and to GET IT OUT.
The problem is that MOST within the body of Christ are so enamored and narcissistic, laissez-faire and caught up in themselves and their comfort and convenience—that we don’t GET IT OUT.
• And I know that this is not where the church runs, shouts, dances, jerks, hoops, slides, dips, and does the electric slide—because we want to be CHURCH-GOERS and not WITNESSES.
The very idea of witness stems from the word ‘Martur’as’ (where we get our word martyr).
• It means we have to come as a servant, not a celebrity