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Witness to the world: Book of Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:04
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There are many belief’s, many assumptions that are made regarding the return of Christ. Before there is a return there had to be an ascension. Tonight we are looking at the ascension and discussing what we can know from the ascension about the return.
There are three major views, theological beliefs, when it comes to the return of Christ. (emphasis this is not a salvation issue; result will be the same)
Three major views regarding return of Christ)
Premillenialist: In general, Christ will return for 1000 year earthly reign
There are three views within this catagory
Pretribulation: View: The rapture of the church occurs just prior to the seven-year tribulation, where Christ returns for his saints to meet them in the air.
Midtribulation: View: The rapture of the church occurs in the midst of the seven-year period. Mid-tribulation view holds that the rapture occurs halfway through; Prewrath holds that the rapture occurs some time in the midst of the tribulation in the latter 3.5 years, but before God's wrath is poured out upon the nations
Postribulation: View: The rapture of the church (the body of true believers) happens after a period of great tribulation, with the church being caught up to meet Christ in the air and will accompany him to earth to share in his (literal or figurative) thousand year rule.
Postmillenialist: Is seen as occurring after the one-thousand years, which many in this school of thought believe is ushered in by the church.
This view is also divided into two sub-schools of interpretation:
Revivalist Postmillennialism: the millennium represents an unknown period of time marked by a gradual Christian revival, followed by widespread successful evangelism. After these efforts is the return of Christ foreseen.
Reconstructionist Postmillennialism: the Church increases its influence through successful evangelism and expansion, finally establishing a theocratic kingdom of 1,000 years duration (literal or figurative) followed by the return of Christ.
Amillenialist: In general believe that Christ is already reigning on the throne of David and is Lord of Lords, King of Kings now. When He returns again it will be to raise the dead, judge the world and usher in a new heavens and new earth.
(insert my history here and my view now)
Here is where we want to pick up tonight
Acts 1:9 NASB95
9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Jesus has just ascended into heaven and they are looking on for Him. So tonight we will start there and look at three things.
Assurance of His return
Appearance of His return
Purpose of His return
Let’s look at the passage in context then move on from there. Tonight we will be all over the place so hold on as we get going.
Acts 1:9–10 NASB95
9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them.
Acts 1:11 NASB95
11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?

Assurance of His return

Assurance, who doesn’t like a good assurance? Here is definition: a positive declaration intended to give confidence; a promise. Jesus is one one we are being assured of His return in the passage, now let’s build on that.
Jesus spoke of his going and his coming (Jn14:1-6)
summarize Jn14:1-4 - Don’t worry, don’t be troubled, you believe in God, believe in Me too. I go and prepare, and I will return and receive you unto My own as My possession.
His ascension was vital for the sending of Holy Spirit (Jn16:5-15)
Hey I need to go away so I can send the Helper to you. He has much to tell you, remind you, but you are not ready yet. Listen to Him for he will not speak on His own, only what is given Him.
His ascension then he assumes His place as High Priest who lives to intercede for us (Heb4:14-16)
This is such a vital passage I need to put it in for us to read together.
Hebrews 4:14–15 NASB95
14 Therefore, since 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 One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
What do you know about Jesus here from this passage?
Hebrews 4:16 NASB95
16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Because we have what we have just read what are we to do here?
His ascension then He becomes our Advocate with the Father (1Jn1:9-2:2)
We are all sinners but we have an advocate with the Father because of the ascension when we sin.
Now, keep in mind we are freed from the bondage of sin, not freed to sin, we strive to not sin, we cannot be sinless, but we can chose to sin less! Thank You for our Advocate made possible because of the ascension.
His ascension made it possible for the continued work in and through the Apostles and on (Mk16:19-20)
Mark 16:19–20 NASB95
19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.
There is much in these two verses, what do you see, learn, pick up?
Angels now proclaim of His return (Act1:10-11; Num20:16; Heb1:4)
Angels are God’s servants, God’s messengers in many passages (Num20:16; Heb1:4)
In numbers God sent an angel to bring the Hebrew people out of Egypt.
In Heb1:14 it says that are not all angels ministering spirits, rendering service to the saved, the redeemed?
Apostles proclaim His return
Peter (Act3:19-21)
Acts 3:19–21 NASB95
19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.
Notice in (v.21) until the period of restoration, which means He is going to return!
So God sent His angels to give comfort and assurance of Christs return to the Apostles and now we have Peter speaking of it, but he is not the only.
Paul (1Cor11:26; 1Cor15:22-23; 1The1:9-10)
1 Corinthians 11:26 NASB95
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
You are very familiar with that scripture
There is in 1Cor15 about we are to be His first fruits until He comes but then look at the promise to the church at Thessalonica
1 Thessalonians 1:9–10 NASB95
9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
Then there is John, whereas he gives comfort, confidence and a charge, check it out and see if you see each.
John (1Jn2:28)
1 John 2:28 NASB95
28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
comfort for we are His children, confidence that He is coming back, the charge to abide in Him and not shrink away in shame.
Then the promise and the warning given by the Hebrew writer
Unknown writer (Heb9:27-28)
Hebrews 9:27–28 NASB95
27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
So, the O.T. tells of His coming. The N.T. tells us that He came and that He ascended and He is coming again, and it tells us the manner in which He will come. or the manner of his appearance at His coming.

Manner of His Appearance

The manner, the appearance of His return is clearly defined and described in the scripture, though there are some that interpret the meaning different (as mentioned before and will cover more in a few minutes).
We can know it is in person (Act1:11)
Acts 1:11 NASB95
11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
In the same way as you have watched Him go.
We can know it will come with announcement (1The4:15-16)
With a shout! Voice of an archangel and the trump of God!
We can know location (Act1:9; Rev1:7)
Act1:9 says in the clouds as does Rev1:7 “He is coming in the clouds and every eye will”
We can have assurance of meeting location too (1The4:17)
In the clouds as noted before and here that we may be with Him always.
We can have warning so as to be prepared (1The5:2-3; 2Pt3:10)
1 Thessalonians 5:2–3 NASB95
2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.
Come like a thief!
We can have promise and joy of His return (1The4:13-18)
We should not be unaware, unsuspecting, we should be expecting with a joyful anticipation, and have faithful confidence!
1 Thessalonians 4:13–14 NASB95
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 4:15–16 NASB95
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 not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:17–18 NASB95
17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
So we can know, with certainty, the manner, the appearance, so now we can move on to the purpose.

Purpose of His return

We have just looked at 1The4 and know purpose to raise the dead in Christ first, but there more to know about purpose too.
To raise to resurrection of life or resurrection of judgment (Jn5:28-29)
All will come forth, those with good deeds to resurrection of life, and those who commit evil deads to resurrection of judgment
To raise the good, evil, righteous and wicked (Act24:15; 1Cor15:50-54; 1The4:16-18)
We can have our hope in God that all will be raised, good, bad righteous and wicked.
This changed, this raising will happen in the twinkling of an eye (1Cor15:50-54) and we will meet the Lord in the air (1The4:16-18)
Now I did not go into those scriptures because while these are true to the purpose and the totality of the purpose it is not the greatest of purpose for those who believe, so track with me a few minutes longer.
Purpose noted in O.T. fulfilled in Christ (Act2:30-36)
Let me give you just one verse of this, you can read the others on your own
Acts 2:34–35 NASB95
34 “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, 35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” ’
Jesus reign did not start with the enemies out of the way, but concurrent with them still being present as noted in the prophesy of (Ps110:1-2)
Purposeful reign in place now (Ps110:1-2)
Psalm 110:1–2 NASB95
1 The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” 2 The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, “Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”
Purposeful reign in the midst of enemy (1Cor15:26)
Until the final enemy is destroyed, hat being death
1 Corinthians 15:26 NASB95
26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
Paul’s proclaiming purpose and position (1Cor15:51-54)
purpose proclaimed even more, and I mentioned before but look in context
1 Corinthians 15:51–52 NASB95
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:53–54 NASB95
53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.
He is not coming to set up His kingdom but to deliver up His kingdom (1Cor15:23-24)
1 Corinthians 15:23–24 NASB95
23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
His kingdom, the Kingdom of the beloved Son will last until the end of the age, in which we will be presented to the Father without spot or blemish and the righteous will shine forever with Him
Purpose: to judge and punish evil too (2Pt3:7)
Judgment by the appointed judge (Act17:31)
Judged by His Word (Jn12:48)
John 12:48 NASB95
48 “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.
So this is a great promise, but it can be scary to to those who have not obeyed the gospel message. You can further read on this in (2The1:7-10). So be prepared (Rev22:12)
Revelation 22:12 NASB95
12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.
The Lord is faithful to His promises and until that day, what are we looking for? Are we looking knowing, expecting, hoping for His return? A few things to consider as we look as we wait.
Be prayerful in preparation for his return (Lk21:34-36; 2Pt3:14)
Be joyful in expectation of his return (Php3:20-21)
Be patient in endurance in anticipation of His return (Heb10:35-39)
(encouragement slide-Jesus is coming) prayer (exit slides)
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