Turn to Acts 1.
Throughout biblical history, God’s people have reminded themselves of who they are and what their mission is by doing what we’re going to be doing here – publicly reading the Scripture.
And, for the New Testament church, what better place to read of our common history and mission than in the book of Acts? So, we’ll read Acts 1:1-11 this morning.
In this portion of Scripture, we read a brief summary of Christ’s earthly ministry, a discussion of the timing of Christ’s kingdom, his ascent into Heaven, and then the blessed promise of his return.
Luke Summarizes Christ’s Earthly Ministry
KJV Acts 1:1 ¶ The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
The Timing of Christ’s Kingdom
6 ¶ When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Christ Ascends into Heaven
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Disciples Are Promised Christ’s Return
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.