Ascension of Jesus
Acts 1:6-11; BCBC/IOUC; 8/1/2021; Rev. Paul Wang
The ascension of Jesus Christ is his last activity in the world. From the preparations before the incarnation, the record of the advent of Christ, the confession of Peter, the prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, the completion of the cross, the resurrection, and today’s topic “ascension of Jesus”, Jesus Christ completed the mission of His first coming into the world. Today, we stand from the perspective of His ascension, and see the meaning of Jesus Christ’s ascension through the last words spoken by the disciples, Jesus, and the angels. Let’s look at the first point:
The last words of the disciples
If you were a disciple, what would you say? What will be in your heart? Is it the kingdom of heaven, or is it your kingdom on earth? Nationalism, patriotism, or the feeling of saving the country? First of all, restore my country. Including me, at the beginning of my faith, faith was used as a “tool” to save the country and the people. At that time, it was just after June 4th, and the heart was surging, patriotism was supreme, and the nation was first. It coincided with the advent of faith, and “usage doctrine” was making trouble in my heart, so faith became the power and motivation that I used in every possible way. This is much the same as the mentality of the disciples at the time of the last meeting, right? Lord, isn’t the purpose of your coming into the world for the restoration of your home country? Didn’t you come to bless the nation of Israel? The pain, humiliation, and sorrow experienced by our country and nation are unmatched by other countries! Others cannot understand, but, Lord, you know, right?
Secondly, is it right now? Lord, you know that we are now being oppressed by the Roman Empire. They collect our taxes, set our rules, rob our resources, and labor our people. So, will you do this today? The Judas betrayer is his personal affair, and it does not mean Zealous like us. But Zealous party are willing to strike forward, and we just wait for your order, Jesus! Of course, if you do not lead us to attack Pilate, then you are not the Messiah we are looking forward to! Nothing new under the sun, I have also met some of today’s “New Zealous “. Forcing pastors and preachers to oppose the Democratic Party, overthrow the Communist Party, establish a new America, and liberate all of China. When one didn’t agree with him, he became angry from embarrassment. even robbed God’s glory and authority, and judged the qualifications of God’s servants.
Finally, can you look up to the Lord? I have repeatedly emphasized that the servants of God can only listen to the voice of God and follow the words of the Bible. However, these people do not have a pair of ears for listening to God’s Word. Before believing in the Lord, he was a patriot, a nationalist, and also an egoist. After believing in the Lord, he still remains the same, and there is no major change. why? The reason is simple, because the Lord is not his Lord yet! God is not his God either! At best, God is just a tool available to him, isn’t it? Of course, Jesus was not moved, because the Lord’s mission came from the Father, and his purpose was to save people from the bondage of sin. According to later historical records, those patriots rebelled in 70 AD, and were finally suppressed by the Roman general Titus, and the city was destroyed and killed. If you travel to the Holy Land, you can also see the remains of the Wailing Wall, as well as the Massad Fortress that finally fell in 1973. Let’s look at the second point:
The last words of the Lord’s entrustment
This is a message before the Lord’s ascension, how precious! One should read it at least a hundred times in a lifetime, do you agree? What did the Lord say regarding His entrustment? First of all, you don’t know when! People’s curiosity is terrible. Starting from the Garden of Eden, they want to know the taste of the fruit on that tree. Jesus will ascend to heaven today, when will He come again? The Lord said, no one knows this day except Heavenly Father, and no one can know! This is the authority of the Father, do you know? However, it has never stopped for more than two thousand years. There are always different people either prophesying or guessing, and there are always people willing to believe. If you don’t understand, you can pray and ask, and respect the authority of God not to tell you. Life doesn’t have to be clear about everything, right? You are not an omniscient god, so why do you want to know everything? Can you wait for God quietly? If you are not quiet, you cannot know who the Lord God is, right?
Second, the Holy Spirit will lead. The plan to save mankind is designed by the Father, executed by the Son, and completed by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, after the Lord’s ascension, the Holy Spirit will continue to lead us to complete this salvation plan. We are baptized by faith, and God promises to give the Holy Spirit to be with us. The Holy Spirit wants to testify with our hearts that we are children of God. The Holy Spirit will move us to blame ourselves for righteousness and sin. The Holy Spirit will also remind us of the Lord’s words and give us the strength to bear fruit. Bear the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of the gospel.
Finally, go to the ends of the earth at the same time. Each of the churches usually has a mission statement, right? Most of us used this verse to inform the world that we will use the local church as Jerusalem and expand the kingdom of God year by year. And along the road map of Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, to the ends of the earth, this is understandable! Today I just want to emphasize that this roadmap can be simultaneous, and there is no first-come-first-served restriction. With the COVID virus that started last year, many of our churches have embarked on the model of online churches. We realize that this model just satisfies the simultaneity and non-first-come-last-come of this roadmap. Let’s look at the third point:
The last words of the angels
The crowd watched eagerly as the Lord was picked up by a cloud and ascended to heaven, and gradually they couldn’t see him. At this time, the angel spoke. First of all, why stand and look at the sky? Have you forgotten the Lord’s command? Could it be that the kingdom of heaven waited for it like this? Jesus once said that the kingdom of heaven must be entered with effort! You can be a servant of five thousand taels or two thousand taels, but you cannot be a servant of one thousand taels. The gift God has given you is to live out. It can’t be like getting a ticket to heaven and then sleeping at home. Coming to church is just to enjoy, never to serve. One day we all have to give an account to God, and He will come and ask about the state of our lives. Where is your heart? Where is your love? Where is your commitment?
Secondly, the Lord was taken up to heaven. Our Lord is the Lord of glory! He was taken to heaven by Glory! Philippians 2:6-11 is the best portrayal of his glory: “6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:6-11)” This is the sense of glory that should be full of our lives! It should be exciting to think about it, right?
Finally, the Lord still has to come again like this. How does the angel’s words make us feel? Rest assured, practical, and hopeful! Will it? We have witnesses who saw how the Lord left us, and some angels said that our Lord will also return like this! Although we don’t know when the Lord will come, we know that He will come back! And even the way to come back has been decided. This is the reason why we can live for him, amen!
Well, dear brothers and sisters, today God uses a word from the disciples, Christ, and angels to show us the meaning of Jesus’ ascension to heaven. Are you willing to live for the Lord?
Let us pray……