REVELATIONS OF THE ASCENSION

 

Reading: ACTS 1:1-11

 

INTRODUCTION

 

[a] What is the backdrop on which you view the events of this world?

[b] You see the backdrop, is what will help us make sense of it.

[c] There's an old story about a mother who wanted to keep  her  child  informed as well as  amused;  so  she bought a jig-saw puzzle picture-map of the earth,  with lots  of pieces. "See how long it takes you to put this map together," she said.

The  boy had the map finished in just a very  few minutes.  It was amazing! "How did you do it so  fast?" the mother asked.

"Actually, it was easy!" was the answer. "There is a  picture of a man on the back. I just slid it on  the chessboard and turned it over!"

There is the face of a Man at the Back of All History!  And that Man is even now at the Throne of the Universe! He ascended into heaven!  If we keep His face in view, He will make sense, finally, of our world!

Do YOU need reassurance in your world? I do in mine! There are times when I am absolutely overwhelmed! IT IS THEN I REALISE I NEED TO LOOK FOR 'THE MAN'S FACE ON THE BACK OF THE PUZZLE!'

 

A REVELATION OF THE LOST

 

[a] If we read Acts 1 with our thoughts and understanding open to the Spirit, then I believe it gives us certain revelations.

[b] I believe we find 

A REVELATION OF THE LOST.

[c] They extend to “the uttermost part of the earth.”

That is our mission field – that is our responsibility!

[d] But don’t forget the priorities Jesus lays out!

“Beginning at Jerusalem!”  If you’re not a good witness at home, in your own family, in your own neighbourhood, don’t try going anywhere else, until that is sorted first!

[e] There are people in your neighbourhood, just as lost as they are in the jungle of some far off country. They need Jesus just as much.

 

A REVELATION OF THE TASK

 

[a] Have we some complicated message to learn to proclaim?

Must we go to theological college for years to prepare to declare this message?

Must I have an IQ of 150, so I can answer all the questions?

[b] NO! NO! AND NO AGAIN!

Jesus simply says, “BE MY WITNESSES!” Just tell what He has done.

You don’t have to have a degree to do that – in fact you don’t even have to read and write!

[c] Some time ago, I spoke to a man, serving life in prison.

[d] He was ‘a traveller’ – or some might call him a gypsy.

He had already served 14 years. When he went into prison, due to his lifestyle, he could neither read nor write. But it didn’t stop him finding the Lord 2 years after being sentenced, and it didn’t stop him witnessing to the fact. He has recorded his testimony, and various Bible Study tapes, which go out through Europe, to the travelling people there, amongst whom in recent times, there has been a wonderful revival taking place, with many finding the Lord.

[e] All we are asked to do, is share what the Lord has done for us – He has saved us! He has forgiven us! He has transformed us! He has filled us with his love!

 

A  REVELATION OF THE ABILITY

 

[a] We also see a REVELATION OF THE ABILITY TO PERFORM THE TASK

Jesus commences His MISSION STATEMENT with the dynamic of spiritual might! Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you!

[b] How often has fear stopped the Christian from witnessing for their Lord!

Jesus is saying, that if we allow the Holy Spirit to come upon us and fill us, then this fear and reticence would not be a problem!

He is saying we don’t have to do it in our own strength.

Two little girls were travelling home late at night in a horse drawn carriage. Ominous shadows, and strange sounds came from the bushes blowing in the wind.

Someone asked them if they were not frightened. “Oh no” they said, “you see, father is with us, and we’re never frightened when he holds the reins.”

[c] I remember as a child, each year, we used to go on holiday to a little wooden cottage at the seaside. It was situated up a dark lane, which had lots of crunchy stones! Living a little further up the lane, there was a little girl called Mary. She was my friend! She was going home in the dark from our cottage, but I knew she wouldn’t be frightened, because she had a man with her – me!

So we started off for the few feet up this lane, and suddenly we heard something!

It was the crunch, crunch of footsteps coming up the lane. The hairs stood up on the back of my neck! I told her she’d be all right if she ran the rest of the way, and I did the same, in the opposite direction!

I found out the next day, it was her father coming home!

 

[d] I left poor Mary to her own devices!  The Lord never does that! He says, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”  Speaking of the Holy Spirit in John 14:17, Jesus says, He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

 

THE REVELATION OF HIS RETURN

 

[a] There is absolutely no other plausible explanation to the statement of the angels, but that Jesus will return again. This same Jesus shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go!

“You’ve seen Him go – so He is going to return!”

[b] The inference for us today is clear, “THE TIME IS SHORT – YOU’D BETTER GET ON WITH IT! FULFILL THE COMMISSION!”

It is not enough for us to play toy soldiers and march around in circles! We must go out and win men and women, boys and girls for the Saviour.

 [c] For the most part, the Church of today has lost it’s urgency, because they have lost the vision of a Christ, soon to return in clouds of Heaven!

[d] They have forgotten  In such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh!”

 

CONCLUSION

 

[a] A traveller chanced on a beautiful villa situated on the shores of a beautiful lake in Switzerland, far from the beaten track of tourists. He knocked at the garden gate and an aged gardener unlocked it and bade him enter. The old man, seerningly glad to see him, showed him round the garden. ‘How long have you been here?', asked the traveller.  ‘Twenty-four years,' replied the gardener. 'How often has your master been here meanwhile? When was he here last?' 'Twelve years ago!’ 'He writes often?' 'Never once!' 'From whom do you receive your pay?' 'His agent in the mainland.t 'But he comes here often?' 'He has never been here.' 'Who does come then?' 'I am almost always alone, It is very, very seldom that a stranger ever calls.' 'Yet you have the garden in such perfect order as if you were expecting your master's coming tomorrow!' 'As if he were coming today, sir, today!' exclaimed the old man. (163 in ‘1200 more Notes Quotes and Anecdotes’)