Luke, the historian, is not finished telling the story. In his gospel, Luke told the story of Jesus from conception to the cross. As a skilled journalist, Luke describes what happens next — after the resurrection — which is the spreading of the Good News. This growth of believers becomes the church. As we go through the Acts of the Apostles — notice it’s “acts” not “thoughts” — they DID — consider the simplicity of the acts. Look for the basic instructions.
Acts 1 is full of God’s promises and we know that we can trust God to fulfill all His promises. Let’s dig in…
In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.
4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
It seems the apostles still were wary about the fact that Jesus was alive. They saw Him die on the cross and be buried in the tomb. But, there He was talking to them about the Kingdom of God — and eating with them, too!
Then He tells them to wait. Be patient. You’ll be getting a gift from heaven — a baptism of the Holy Spirit. When? “In just a few days.” Jesus, can’t you be more specific? What could the apostles do, but wait. However, they expected something different…
The Ascension of Jesus
6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
They still expected Jesus to get rid of the Roman rulers and restore the Kingdom of Israel. Too bad they wouldn’t get the Book of Revelation for another 50 years — which explains how that will happen. That still doesn’t answer the question for us. We still have to wait. Be patient. Jesus IS coming back and we’ll see him surfing on the clouds.
First He’ll come back for His born again believers in the Rapture. Then, those left behind will get a second chance, but they’ll have to live through the Great Tribulation. Finally, it’s Jesus’ second coming.
When? That’s not for us to know. But, we do have the Signs of the Times.
In the meantime, we are to spread the Good News everywhere! (That’s what I’m doing! I looked at my analytics for the blog and podcast for 2020, and through the blog, the Gospel Truth reached 93 countries, and with the podcast, 36! That’s God using today’s technology to spread the Gospel all over the world. Matthew 24:14)
Next, the apostles have to deal with an organizational issue…
12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. 13 When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying.
Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). 14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.
15 During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them. 16 “Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David. 17 Judas was one of us and shared in the ministry with us.”
18 (Judas had bought a field with the money he received for his treachery. Falling headfirst there, his body split open, spilling out all his intestines. 19 The news of his death spread to all the people of Jerusalem, and they gave the place the Aramaic name Akeldama, which means “Field of Blood.”)
20 Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’
21 “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus— 22 from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Whoever is chosen will join us as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection.”
23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen 25 as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.Acts 1 NLT
The Promise of Power
Jesus still had to convince them to wait for the Holy Spirit. He does that in verse 8. He promises them POWER. Who doesn’t want power! They saw what Jesus did with the power God gave Him. Now, He was promising them that power, too. That sounds good enough to wait for, right?
What comes to mind when you think about the POWER of GOD?
Jesus is calling you into Himself:
- You need to KNOW HIM.
- Allow Him into your life to show you a better way to live.
- He wants to have a relationship with you!
- Then, once you know Him, He calls you to live a victorious life with Him.
- You can live with joy and love in your life that is impossible for humans to have without Jesus.
- It’s only THROUGH JESUS.
- That’s our confident hope!
Do you have God’s power?
You can. All you have to do is invite Him into your heart….
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!
“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”Matthew 24:14 NLT