As He Left
Text: Acts 1:1-11
Theme: Jesus goes home.
Purpose: To help this congregation to assume their place in the body of Christ.
1. I recently saw a book entitled, “Ten Days that Changed History.” So I started thinking, what ten days changed my life. Meeting Sherry, choosing PSCC over CCB. Joining the Navy, going to seminary, having my children. That isn’t ten, but you get the idea.
2. As I pondered where to go next in our sermons, I began looking through the Word. As I came to Acts, I know how hard it is to preach from that book, chapter by chapter – history is like that. Then I remembered the book, “Ten Days.” So I looked through the book and found what I think are 12 key chapters and events. Since we have ten weeks until Haiti Trip, a series was born, “Ten Days that Changed the Church.”
3. The first day is actually a prep day, it happens before the establishment of the church, but sets the standard and focus for the church. That standard and focus remains to this days. So we look at Acts 1:1-11 – day one that changed the church.
4. Read the text.
5. Key Sentence: On this day we learn three keys for the growth and health of Christ’s Church.
I. The Church centers on the Holy Spirit.
A. Jesus says, “Wait.”
B. The Father has a promise to deliver.
C. “Don’t leave home without it.
D. The Spirit is going to power the church.
1. Give the apostles words when needed.
2. Direct their travels and decisions.
E. There have been Spirit wars for the history of the church.
1. Ancient – Simon
2. Medieval – Crusades
3. Modern – Pentecostalism and Charismatic
F. Truth is, unless the Holy Spirit of God is at work in the church, nothing good will happen. If He is at work, nothing can stop it.
Trans: This is so critical. With church growth books, and administration experts, and marketing gimmicks, we dare not loose the presence of His Holy Spirit
II. The Church is about expansion.
A. When we think of expansion, we think of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, uttermost . . .
1. That is in fact, the outline of the book.
2. There is a worldwide expansion. And we at SCC have a part in that expansion.
B. Yet, there is a larger expansion that Jesus has in mind.
C. His disciples ask, “Are you, at this time, going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
1. The disciples had not gotten it.
2. Jesus spoke of the kingdom of heaven, kingdom of God, not the kingdom of Israel.
3. The disciples were thinking too narrowly.
D. God’s plan and vision, indeed, His promise was bigger than Israel.
1. This was a lesson it will take 15 chapters for the apostles to figure out.
2. Some today still haven’t figured it out.
E. If our view of the return of Christ focuses on Israel, we too have missed what Jesus says here.
Trans: The disciples’ view of God and the kingdom was too small. We too must keep our eyes lifted, and our vision beyond the horizon, for God’s plan is enormous.
III. The Church has responsibility.
A. Two phrases point to the responsibility of the Church.
B. The first is rather straightforward, “Wait!”
1. This disciples were not always good at waiting.
2. This first chapter is an example with the election of Matthias to replace Judas.
C. The second is found in, “You will be.”
D. This responsibility began with the apostles. No one else.
E. This responsibility is passed to the evangelists, prophets, pastors and teachers.
F. This in turn train a lead all in the work of the kingdom.
G. When things go well, God gets the glory.
H. When things don’t, those responsible, us, are accountable.
Trans: Each of us takes our place in this ever expanding, spirit driven body, we call the church. This is the lesson from day one.
Oh, there is one more thing, He is returning – but don’t stand around, waiting for it!