- Sermon Notes
Today we are going to be in Acts - commonly called The Acts of the Apostles, but perhaps a better reference would be The Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles.
Jesus provided many promises, unlike the world had to offer me - one of those promises was eternal life and with that decision, the power of the Holy Spirit in my life.
The Book of Acts was written by Luke, a physician who traveled with the Apostle Paul on his 2nd and 3rd missionary journeys.
In this 1st chapter Jesus appears to the disciples after He is raised from the dead.Appearing over a 40-day period, teaching and speaking of the things concerning the Kingdom of God.
The Gospels are about the ministry of Jesus Christ here on earth, but the book of Acts is about the ministry of the Holy Spirit that Jesus sends.
So we are going to do a verse x verse study of the first chapter together and uncover several Promises important to our security in Christ today and also in the future.
We are going to look at Jesus’ Ascension - His going back to Heaven after the resurrection and what difference that makes to you and me.
I.The Promise of Power
v1 - Theophilus - we don’t really know him or much about him.Some believe he was Lukes master - biblical times Dr’s were servants to the rich -
v3 - He presented Himself alive - Praise God
- So the Bible says for 40 days, 11 apostles were with Jesus for teaching - everything about His life, death, prophesies…
- Remember, Judas was gone, he hung himself -
- So Jesus did not immediately leave them!
When you read the NT have you ever considered or thought about where all these uneducated, untheologically trained men got their amazing theology, insights…?
They were farmers, fisherman, tax collectors - Where did they get all this prophesy?
From the Lord Himself…from the risen Christ Himself!40 straight days He taught them…
v4 - Being assembled there, Jesus commanded them not to depart Jerusalem - to wait for the Promise of the Father…this is familiar to us isn’t it?
- Where did He previously talk to them about the promise of the father - the coming of the Holy Spirit?
John 16:7-8; But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;
- This instruction is happening on the Mount of Olives
- So He’s saying, I’ve already spoken to you about this - stay here and wait.
v 5 - He reminds them that John the Baptist was baptized with water - but they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit, “not many days from now.”
- You can read about it in Acts Chapter 2
v 6-7 - They ask, Lord will you at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?It is not for you to know…
You will receive Power…
- They misunderstood His mission - they were still looking for a physical kingdom - what happened to Him was not their plan - but it was the Father’s plan.
- It’s not for you to know the time and hour.They were looking for that - is now the time?
v 8 - And He tells them to focus on receiving the POWER of the Holy Spirit which will come upon you - that’s your focus - - He doesn’t want them to become distracted by all the things going on around them!
v 9 - They watched a cloud take Him away
II.The Promise of His Return
- Where did He go?Into Heaven!
I Peter 3:22; who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.
- Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding for you, praying for you, taking care of your needs according to His will, not ours.
But there’s more - He’s not staying there forever is He?
v 10 - Two men in white robes - ANGELS - ask them, “why do you stand looking into heaven?”
v 11 —“This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
He will come back to you the same way!
Matthew 24:36; “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
- So when I read these predictions that the world as we know it will end in 12 years…
- The disciples were doing this - what now Lord…?
They are talking about the 2nd Coming…
We know historically, the Rabi's of Jesus day believed there to be two Messiahs; one to come and die for sin - another to come after and help lead Israel into glorious triumph.
The revelation of today of course is that we have the New Testament - we understand the solution to all of this…
We understand not two Messiahs, but two different comings of the same Messiah - described to the Apostles right here in the Book of Acts.
The Angels here are announcing it - don’t get in a hurry and read right over it -
How will we know?
- The bible says clearly He will come in the same way
How did they see him go to heaven? 5 ways -
1.Bodily - Jesus ascended in His resurrection body and He’s returning in that same body!
2.Literally - a historic event - not a dream
3.Visibly - with their own eyes - the Angels are saying the whole world will see His return the same way
4.Supernaturally - who do you know that just floated into heaven?
5.From & to the Mount of Olives
Zechariah 14:4; In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.
- It will split in two! A Powerful return.
- Words should come to mind like Majestic, Glory, Magnificence…
I’ve been to the Mount of Olives and some of you have been there too. It’s no small hill is it?
- Great is the power and glory of His return.
This is a powerful reminder of what you believers already know - He is coming again!
But what else can we apply to our daily lives with this text while we wait and pray He comes quickly?
Look at our nation, our world today, schemes, lies, conflict rooted in the desire for power and misinformation!
Does this bother me? Does it bother you? Do you know your Bible?
Another powerful promise - His Justice is coming.
III.The Promise of His Justice
Many of you get tied up in knots over a variety of things.
Conflicts in our Nation’s Capital - why would any of us put our hope and trust in what goes on in Wash DC?
When it comes to this topic, I really don’t worry about most of what’s going on - distracted by it yes - worry about it….no, because Jesus says,
Matthew 16:27; For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.
The bible says the son of man will return in the Glory of His father, in power, to right every wrong.
God shows no partiality in this regard…
Romans 2:5-11; But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.
The bible says Jesus is coming back to right every wrong - a promise of justice to all who thought they got away with it.
Luke 12:1-3; …But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.
Get your life right with the Lord, pursue righteousness, confess & repent of your sins to Him, He wants us to let Him take care of all this Justice we try to take on ourselves, yes, even verbally.
Pastor Rich many years ago spoke on this topic at a time that my corporate career had bitter memories…
Colossians 3:25; For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.
This is why Psalm 37 tells us to rest in the Lord, do not fret, the evildoers day is coming. It should minister to everyone of you who believe the enemy is winning…
- We are an impatient bunch in this regard - we want justice now, we don’t want to wait do we?
Psalm 7:14-16; Behold, he travails with wickedness, And he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood. He has dug a pit and hollowed it out, And has fallen into the hole which he made. His mischief will return upon his own head…
- But the bottom line is that we have the promise that true justice will prevail in this world.
- Some will happen here & now. Most will take place upon Jesus return.
- When we are wronged our flesh causes us to want to strike back doesn’t it?
On God’s behalf don’t lower yourself, don’t do it - because you don’t have to - even in your heart you don’t have to.
- We are not talking about your legal rights in response to criminal behavior done to you.
- We are talking about you and me taking our personal revenge against people, even if only in your heart.
- The bible says never to take your own revenge - leave room for the wrath and justice of God.
Deuteronomy 32:35; Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, in due time their foot will slip; for the day of their calamity is near, and the impending things are hastening upon them.
- Jesus is reminding us that He does not need our help.
- What do you do with the person who this lesson is written about?
Romans 12:17; Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
1.Take a minute and think of a person who did you wrong & seems to have gotten away with it -
2.Now - I want you to turn them loose - let it go. All the anger and malice…
3.I know it’s hard!I’ve been there when Pastor Rich gave a similar message years ago - I’m not saying punishment for this person isn’t warranted - I’m just saying it’s not for you to do it.
Acts 1:1-11 NASB