Summary: Ascension of Jesus. This SAME Jesus will return!
TITLE: This Same Jesus
TEXT: Acts 1:6-12
INTRO: During WWII the Japanese overran the Philippines, and on March 11, 1942 General Douglas MacArthur climbed aboard a gun ship, and ran a Japanese blockade. When he arrived in Australia, MacArthur told reporters, "I came through and I shall return." On October 20, 1944, he waded ashore in the Philippines and declared, "People of the Philippines, I have returned!"
In the Bible we have an even better promise. Jesus said: "...I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (Joh 14:3b)
After His resurrection, Jesus remained on earth for 40 days. During that time, He was seen by over 500 people
Then, one day, He led the eleven Apostles out toward Bethany and while they watched, He ascended up into Heaven.
I. HE ASCENDED FROM THE MOUNT OF OLIVES (v.12)
A. Jesus & His Disciples...often gone there to rest & pray
B. It was where He was praying when He was arrested...
C. This time, He ascends back up to Heaven, while the
Disciples stand, watching in amazement
D. He Will Come Again to the Same Place
(Zech.14:4) "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west..."
II. HE PROMISED TO RETURN (v.11c)
A. Some Claim He Has Already Come
1. With the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD
2. When Emperor Constantine was converted &
Christianity became...official religion...Roman Empire
3. Or that its when a person dies
4. None of those are the Second Coming
B. He Has Not Returned Yet, But He is Coming Again
1. NT refers to Second Coming 321 times
2. In the book of Hebrews, we read, So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Heb 9:28)
C. His Coming Will be in Two Phases
1. Before the Tribulation....to Rapture His Saints
(1 Thes. 4:16) "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"
2. Following the Tribulation
(Mat.24:29-30) "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
III. THIS SAME JESUS IS COMING AGAIN (v.11b)
A. Not Another Jesus
1.There are people who say He was a man, but not God
2. Some say He was God, but not Man
3. Some cults teach He was a god, but not same as God
4. Many believe He was a good teacher, or a myth
5. But, none of those are the real Jesus!
B. The Jesus Who Will Return is the Same Jesus:
1. Who was born of a virgin in Bethlehem,
2. Who walked on the water & stilled the storm,
3. Who made the blind to see, deaf to hear, lame to walk
4. Who died on the cross & rose again
C. When the Holy Spirit Fell on the Apostles, on The Day of
Pentecost, Peter preached:
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Act 2:36)
D. When Jesus Returns, He Will be Recognizable
1. Visible and in the same, yet glorified body
2. Then we will be able to say the same thing that John
said of Him:
"That which was from the beginning,
which we have heard,
which we have seen with our eyes,
which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life" (1 Joh 1:1)
E. We Shall Know Him
1. Just as Mary recognized Him, at the tomb, when He
called her name
2. As the two men on the Emmaus road recognized Him,
when He broke bread & prayed at the table.
3. The same way Thomas knew Him and believed,
when he saw the scars in His hands and side
"I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
And redeemed by His side I shall stand,
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
By the print of the nails in His hand."
CONCL: We can't know the day of Jesus' return, but the handwriting is on the wall. We see evidence of it everyday in the things that are happening around us.