Living in the Light of Christ's Return

Book of Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:51
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Living in the Light of Christ’s Return

Picture a relay race, where a team of runners works together, each carrying a baton for a portion of the race before passing it to the next runner. The team's success depends on the collaboration and dedication of each individual. As they run, they keep their eyes on the finish line, anticipating the moment they'll cross it together, knowing that their hard work and perseverance will be rewarded.
In our Christian journey, we too are running a race – one with eternal implications. We are part of a team, bound together by our faith in Jesus Christ and our anticipation of His glorious return. Today's sermon will explore Jesus' ascension, His ongoing ministry in heaven, and the hope of His promised return. As we delve into these powerful truths, we will discover how they can inspire us to live a life dedicated to advancing God's kingdom, serving one another, and sharing His love with others, all while remaining hopeful and expectant for Christ's return.
Today, we will delve into the powerful passage of Acts 1:9-11, where Jesus ascends into heaven, promising the gift of the Holy Spirit to His disciples.
As we study this passage, let's remember that the assurance of Jesus' return is not only a source of hope, but also a call to faithful living and service. Let us explore the implications of Jesus' ascension and His promised return for our daily lives.
Just a little review from last week. This is your quiz. And we’re grading it.
The Holy Spirit Fills Us With POWER
The Holy Spirit Gives Us a PURPOSE
The Holy Spirit Outlines Our PLAN
Now let’s look at verses 9-11.
Acts 1:9–11 NKJV
9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Jesus is COMING BACK!
Now this is a reference to Jesus’ bodily return on the Mount of Olives during the end time.
He will come back for us in the clouds and take us up in what we call the Rapture.
But the main point is Jesus is coming back.
First of all Jesus had to leave the earth so He could send the Holy Spirit that was promised.
So what’s Jesus been doing all that time, and what is He doing today. And how does it affect us?
We can...

Find Strength in Jesus’ Ongoing Ministry

The ascension of Jesus allowed Him to continue His ministry in heaven as our High Priest and Advocate. This truth has profound implications for our daily lives, as it offers us strength, encouragement, and hope in our Christian walk.
A. Jesus is our High Priest
Jesus, as our High Priest, has direct access to God the Father and intercedes on our behalf.
Let’s take a look at Hebrews 4.
Hebrews 4:14–16 NKJV
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
He understands our weaknesses, temptations, and struggles because He Himself experienced them in His time on earth. This understanding makes Him the perfect mediator between us and God.
Application: In light of Jesus' role as our High Priest, let us approach God with confidence and humility, knowing that we can find mercy and grace in our time of need.
When we face challenges, let us turn to Jesus in prayer, seeking His wisdom, comfort, and strength.
B. Jesus is our Advocate
As our Advocate, Jesus pleads our case before the Father when we stumble and sin (1 John 1:9-2:2)
1 John 1:9–2:2 NKJV
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross has paid the price for our sins, All of them. We were cleansed from all unrighteousness the moment we trusted in Christ as our Savior.
And today He’s in heaven continuing to work on our behalf.
Application: In times of failure and sin, let us not be discouraged or overwhelmed by guilt. Instead, let us remember that Jesus is our Advocate, ready to forgive and restore us.
As we confess our sins to Him, let us experience His cleansing and renewing grace, drawing us closer to the Father.
C. Living in the light of Jesus' ongoing ministry
Understanding Jesus' ongoing ministry in heaven should inspire us to cultivate a deeper relationship with Him. This relationship is the foundation for our spiritual growth, resilience, and service in His Kingdom. John 15:4-5
John 15:4–5 NKJV
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
This passage highlights the importance of maintaining a close relationship with Jesus, as the source of spiritual nourishment and growth.
It emphasizes that our fruitfulness in life and ministry depends on our connection to Him, demonstrating the necessity of seeking Jesus in our daily lives and relying on His ongoing ministry for our spiritual well-being.
Application: Let us commit to daily Bible reading, prayer, and reflection, seeking to know Jesus more intimately and to experience His transforming power in our lives.
As we grow in our relationship with Christ, let us encourage one another to find strength and hope in His ongoing ministry, trusting in His promises and leaning on His grace.
By finding strength in Jesus' ongoing ministry as our High Priest and Advocate, we can live victoriously and faithfully in our Christian journey, knowing that He is always with us and that His grace is sufficient for every need.

We Can Anticipate Jesus’ Glorious Return

The promise of Jesus' return provides us with a powerful source of hope and motivation as we live out our Christian faith. By keeping our eyes on this glorious event, we can maintain a proper perspective in our daily lives and be inspired to live in a manner that honors Him.
A. The Promise of Jesus' Return
Scripture affirms that Jesus will return to earth in a visible and triumphant manner (Matthew 24:30).
Matthew 24:30 NKJV
30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
This event will mark the culmination of human history and the beginning of a new era where Jesus reigns as King over all creation.
Application: Let us hold firmly to the promise of Jesus' return, allowing it to anchor our faith in times of uncertainty or difficulty.
In moments when we feel overwhelmed or discouraged, let us remember that our ultimate hope lies in His coming kingdom, which is secure and unshakable.
B. Living with Eternity in Mind
As we anticipate Jesus' return, we must live with an eternal perspective (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 NKJV
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
This means prioritizing our relationship with God, investing in the spiritual growth of ourselves and others, and seeking to fulfill the Great Commission by sharing the gospel with those around us.
Application: Let us evaluate our priorities, decisions, and actions in light of eternity.
Are we investing our time, talents, and resources in things that have eternal value?
As we seek to live with eternity in mind, let us be intentional in nurturing our faith and serving others, knowing that our labor is not in vain.
C. Staying Spiritually Alert and Prepared
In anticipation of Jesus' return, we must stay spiritually alert and prepared, living lives that reflect our commitment to Christ (Matthew 24:42-44).
Matthew 24:42–44 NKJV
42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Again this warning refers to the Second Coming of Christ. But the application for us today is the same.
This involves cultivating a deep and intimate relationship with Him, continually growing in our faith, and remaining vigilant against the temptations and distractions that can hinder our spiritual progress.
Application: Let us be diligent in maintaining our spiritual disciplines, such as prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other believers.
Let us also be mindful of our actions, attitudes, and thoughts, ensuring that they align with the teachings of Jesus and demonstrate our readiness for His return.
By anticipating Jesus' glorious return, we can find renewed hope, motivation, and purpose in our Christian walk. As we keep our eyes fixed on this future event, let us live with eternity in mind, staying spiritually alert and prepared to meet our Savior when He comes.

We Are to Serve Faithfully in Light of Christ’s Return

As we eagerly await Jesus' return, our anticipation should be coupled with a deep commitment to serving Him faithfully and sharing the gospel with others. Recognizing the limited time we have on earth, we are called to make the most of every opportunity to advance God's kingdom and demonstrate His love.
A. Be Faithful Stewards
Luke 12:34–40 NKJV
34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Jesus shares parables about faithful stewardship, emphasizing the importance of using the resources, talents, and opportunities He has given us to serve His purposes.
As we await His return, we must remember that we are accountable to Him for how we use these gifts.
Application: Let us examine our lives and ask ourselves if we are truly being faithful stewards of all that God has entrusted to us.
Are we using our time, talents, and resources to serve Him and bless others? Let us seek God's guidance in identifying opportunities to serve Him and share His love with others, making the most of every chance to impact lives for His glory.
B. Sharing the Gospel
As we anticipate Jesus' return, we must be diligent in sharing the gospel with those around us. Our responsibility as believers includes being Christ's ambassadors on earth, proclaiming the message of salvation to a lost and hurting world.
Application: Let us be intentional about sharing our faith with others, seeking opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations, and demonstrating Christ's love through acts of kindness and service.
As we share the gospel, let us also pray for those who have yet to know Jesus, asking God to open their hearts to His truth and bring them into a life-transforming relationship with Him.
C. Encouraging and Supporting Fellow Believers
As members of the body of Christ, we have a unique responsibility to encourage, support, and serve one another as we eagerly anticipate Jesus' return. By doing so, we not only strengthen our individual faith but also contribute to the overall health and growth of the church.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NKJV
11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
Application: Let us be intentional about investing in the lives of fellow believers, offering encouragement, support, and prayer in times of need.
Let us also seek opportunities to serve within our local church and community, using our unique gifts and abilities to strengthen the body of Christ and further His kingdom work.
By serving faithfully in light of Christ's return, we can make a lasting impact on the world around us and store up treasures in heaven that will never fade away.
As we wait for His glorious return, let us commit ourselves to being faithful stewards, sharing the gospel, and encouraging our fellow believers, knowing that our labor is not in vain.
In conclusion, the message of Jesus' ascension, His ongoing ministry in heaven, and His promised return offers us hope, encouragement, and motivation to persevere in our Christian walk.
As we stand in awe of Jesus' continued work on our behalf and eagerly anticipate His glorious return, let us commit ourselves to live lives that reflect our faith and dedication to Him.
Let us be faithful stewards of the gifts and resources He has entrusted to us, sharing the gospel with those around us, and supporting our fellow believers in their journey.
By living with eternity in mind and staying spiritually alert and prepared, we can make a lasting impact on the world and store up treasures in heaven that will never fade away.
As we go forth from this place, may the truth of Jesus' ascension and His ongoing ministry in heaven strengthen our faith, transform our perspective, and inspire us to run the race set before us with endurance.
And as we await His glorious return, let us find joy and purpose in serving Him faithfully, knowing that one day we will stand in His presence, celebrating the victory that has been won through Christ our Savior.
May God bless you and keep you as you live each day with anticipation, hope, and dedication, running the race with perseverance until we behold the glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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