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"What the Ascension means for us"

Summary of sermon by Arno Stegen, 29 May 2014

 

Ascension Day used to be a holiday but the government removed it, and replaced it with other holidays, which are more important to them. But it doesn't reduce the significance of Ascension Day to us.

When we stand before the Lord, will we be ashamed, or will we be like Jesus, who ascended into Heaven after He had accomplished the task His Father had sent Him to do.

Acts 1:9-12

9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem.

Before His Ascension He met frequently with His disciples. It was a very special time. Before the Resurrection they were timid and fearful and denied the Lord. But during the time after the Resurrection and before the Ascension, He met frequently with them, strengthening them and they were transformed people by the time He Ascended. A few days after His Ascension He promised them they would receive the Holy Spirit.

They were transformed from timid people to those who were later prepared to even die for Him, and they could unashamedly stand before anyone in boldness. They experienced the Lord in such a way that nothing could stop them from testifying.

They saw Him as He Ascended into Heaven. You can imagine how they gazed into Heaven as one gazes as a loved one leaves one in a car or aeroplane. They didn't know what to expect, whether the Lord would return immediately or what would happen next. Today we have the whole picture in perspective, but it wasn't so with them at that time.

They had experienced great things the few days before. They saw how satan tempted Him to become discouraged and how men taunted Him and tortured Him.

But the Father and the Host of Heaven were prepared to do it for us, so that we might be saved. Imagine the celebrations in Heaven when He arrived. However we know of at least two angels who missed the celebrations, the two that were sent to earth for our sakes to speak to the disciples. The angels helped them and they realised that life had to carry on and that there was work to be done.

Many a time it's the same with us. God does something great for us and then it's as if our life stops right there and we forget that God's mercies are given to strengthen us for the task we have to do.

Dr Luke records what happened after the angels spoke to them in the Gospel of Luke.

Luke 24:51 - 53

51 And it came to pass while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into Heaven.

52 And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.

53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

To them it wasn't the end but the beginning. We read in Acts that Jesus' work was what Jesus started to do (Acts 1:1). Their lives became full of joy. They had great joy while they worked for we read that the Lord worked with them (Mark 16:20).

That is what we need that the Lord works with us. Or are you on your own, doing your own thing?

God also confirmed by accompanying signs. And people saw that God was with them.

Where we work, do people see us or God. What we do is it for our own sakes, or do we give God the glory? Sometimes we are so big, people cannot see God. But as the disciples worked God's hand was with them and strengthened them.

1Pet 3:22

22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

He came to earth to save us but now He is sitting in Heaven at the right hand of the Father.

We live in a time where man makes laws contrary to God's word. Where it's not allowed to speak against homosexuality and say what the Bible clearly says about it. Where certain needy countries in Africa had made laws against homosexuality and the world has turned against them, and the so-called Christian Western nations withdrew financial support.

Certain woman say they have the right over their own body and can kill their unborn child through abortion. But there is one above them Who said, 'you shall not kill'.

You might think you can do your own thing, but the day is coming when you will appear before the Ascended Lord to whom all authority had been given and although you do not bow now, one day you will bow (Philippians 2:10 - 11).

Hebrews 4

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

He understands what you go through. And He is at the right hand of the Father, available every moment. He is our great High Priest. We have access to our Creator! And He is available at any time. He invites us to come to Him in our hour of need.

His invitation is, "Come to Me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Mat 11:28).

We can come boldly to the throne of grace with every need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last edited on: Thursday May 29, 2014     E-mail us at: mail@ksb.org.za          Return to KSB Home page