Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Ascension

November 16: Acts 1-3

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Acts 1:6-11

The Ascension

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

What question would you have asked Jesus after the resurrection, especially now that you really knew that He was not just a man, but truly the Son of God? Our questions would have probably been very similar to that of the disciples. Their question was not surprising; they expected that Jesus would now restore the promised land back to the Jews and set up His earthly kingdom. His answer was probably a great disappointment to them.

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority."

Instead of the answer they desired, He gave them a charge.

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Though this may have been a disappointment to them, His answer meant life to us! Before Christ would return to set up His kingdom, all of His children must be gathered in. Looking down through the portals of time, Christ already knew about His children who still needed to be saved (including Christians today and in the future).

Then, right before their eyes, the Lord Jesus Christ ascended up into heaven. The disciples continued looking up even after a cloud took Him out of their view.

And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Now, we have the rest of the story; as promised by two angels sent by God, Jesus Christ would return in the same manner. It has been over 2000 years since that time. Is Christ still going to return?

Christians today have the same charge which Christ gave to His disciples. We are here to spread the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth (which also means right in our own corner of the world where we have been placed by God).

Though we do not know the times or the seasons of Christ's return, the ascension of Christ gives us the basis for our hope and expectations as Christians. Christ ascended into heaven, and yes, He will return in the same manner! Could it be today? Yes!

By the grace of God call out to Him to help you keep your focus on Him and not on the things of the world all around you.

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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