Jesus’ ascension is recorded in the Gospels of Luke and Mark and in the Book of Acts. What was Jesus’ promise that gives us hope? What did He tell the disciples AND us to do until He returns? When is He coming back? With what’s going on in the world today, where’s the hope that we can hold on to? Let’s dig in…
Acts 1 – 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!”Acts 1:6-11 NLT
Jesus! Come Back!
Jesus had been hanging around with the disciples for 40 days. Many people saw Him.
5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.1 Corinthians 15:5-7 NLT
One day, they were all standing on the Mount of Olives and they kept asking Him when He’d be back to establish His Kingdom? They still didn’t get it. His Kingdom was not of this earth. That’s why we pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven!” Then, He told them to be patient and wait in Jerusalem. Finally, He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the Right Hand of the Father.
However, He’s not just sitting there waiting! He told us what He’d be doing up there…
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”John 14:1-5 NLT
In that same discourse He also said…
15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.John 14:15-17 NLT(emphasis mine)
When is Jesus Coming Back?
Needless to say, if you’ve read the Gospels and the New Testament, you’ve read over and over again that Jesus specifically said, “Only the Father knows.” Yet, people still try to determine when the Rapture will happen. We don’t know. Jesus doesn’t know. At some point, Father God is going to say, “It’s Time, Son, go get the born again believers!”
What do we do in the mean time?
Wait. Pray. Preach.
Jesus told the disciples to wait and they’ll receive the Gift — we’ll cover the details of Pentecost tomorrow — subscribe so you don’t miss out! This implies that…
- …they couldn’t do it themselves — they needed His power.
- …it would be a time of testing — how’s your patience?
- …it’s something worth waiting for! It’s a Gift from God!
Jesus tells them — and us — to be His witnesses. Consequently, we are to spread the Good News all over the world. That’s why I do what I do. I want His Word to be easily available to anyone anywhere. The Greek word for witnesses is martys — from where we get our word for martyrs.
He’ll be back!
The disciples were left standing in awe, watching Jesus disappear into the sky. He left visibly and physically and He’ll come again in the same way. In the mean time, we need to hang on to His promises. From reading Matthew 24, Luke 17 and 21, and Mark 13, we know that we are living in the Last Days. Only the Holy Spirit’s power and strength can sustain us until He returns for us. We must keep reading the Bible Daily! That’s the only way we can be emotionally and spiritually fit for whatever the world throws at us.
Jesus told us…
36 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.
37 “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 38 In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. 39 People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.
40 “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.
42 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 43 Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. 44 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.Matthew 24:36-44 NLT
Are YOU Ready?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…