Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
                                                        Faithfulness - A Key Step to Happiness
Nov 3, 2010                                 "Un-Finished Task!"

Wed Pm Worship                                  

Text: Acts 1:6-11 (King James Version)

  "Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."

                            The Fields are white and the laborers are few!
2. C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;

Acts 1:6   When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Acts 1:7   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.

Acts 1:8   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.

Acts 1:9   And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Acts 1:10   And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

Acts 1:11   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.

 

Goodbyes aren't easy, especially if the one leaving will be gone long.

Ill-Babe Ruth said goodbye at Yankee Stadium, eaten up w/ cancer, and w/ tears he said goodbye.
Ill-Watergate hearings, Nixon said goodbye to his staff, walked across lawn, then said goodbye and waved again on Marine 1.
If you've ever said a final goodbye to a child, or a spouse, a sibling, a parent, you know how bad goodbyes can be.
In Acts 1 Jesus is saying goodbye to His disciples.for 3.5 years they've been intimately intertwined, thru good times and bad! He had changed their lives! They'd never be the same.

They spent 40 incredible days together after He arose.and now it's time to say goodbye, He's leaving, He's going home.and He tells them to do His work in the meanwhile (v. 8) He has given them His great commission, to go into all the world with the gospel.
Luke, in recording the glorious Ascension of Jesus Christ is placing this actual and awesome event in its proper historical setting!  -Something that stands out here in his Writings is the event itself, took place forty (40) days after the Resurrection of Jesus, the Christ and in the presence of eyewitnesses.

The number forty (40) appears to be a very significant number in the Bible You ever wonder why?  Let me explain forty (40) is the number of transition in the Bible! Every time the number forty (40) is given in the Word of God,  God is getting ready to do something different!

 (Ex)Noah and his "company" stayed in the Ark - the place of safety -for forty (40) days and forty (40) nights - then, God placed a rainbow in the sky - His symbol of Authority  - to state that He would never ever destroy the Earth by flood again!

 

Moses was forty (40) years a "Prince of Egypt"

Forty (40) years a "shepherd on the back side of Midian" - and, forty (40) years a "deliverer of God's 'chosen people'" - and Moses was the "Friend of God"!

The twelve (12) spies were sent by the Israelites to search out the "Promised Land" remained in Canaan for forty (40) days! The children of Israel wandered around in the desert wilderness for forty (40) years! It would appear, to the most casual observer, that the number forty (40) is the number of God's "Finishing School" Graduation Time. I feel the need to Prophesy here and tell someone you are about to graduate God's finishing school!  It would seem for the past 40 days or forty months or even forty years your life has been in complete disarray. The good news is that season of forty is ending and your life will never be the same!  Now tell your neighbor I know he is taking to me now because I am about to graduate. Now, we find Jesus, Christ, in a forty (40) day post-Resurrection Ministry!


I need to park and put a dime in the meter here because this is not the first record of ascension in the Bible, for we are told of two other ascensions.

 

Enoch and Elijah! There are some who believe that the two (2) witnesses, found in Revelation 11:3-12 (KJV) are Enoch and Elijah; while yet another group, believes that the two (2) witnesses are Moses and Elijah! The Bible does not make clear their identities - however, we do know that these two (2) witnesses will be present during the Tribulation time, that they will die and three and one-half days later they will rise from the dead and ascend into heaven, thereby ending the "First Woe"!

Personally, I believe that the two (2) witnesses are, indeed, Enoch and Elijah because neither of these two (2) Old Testament biblical men ever died and for God to be a God who makes no exceptions in His plans, they have to die just like everyone else!  

 

Hebrews 9:27   And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

 

In Deuteronomy 34:5-6 (KJV), God tells us through his "friend" and servant Moses: "So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab. according to the Word of the Lord.

(vs. 6) And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day."

 

But Enoch on the other hand walked with God day in and day out until until God took him. He was the world's first wasnot,

 

Genesis 5:24   And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

 

"A Sunday School child was telling the story of Enoch, [and] she said, 'Well, one day God and Enoch were just walking along together, and it came close to the end of the day. And God turned to Enoch and said, 'We're closer to My House than to yours, so why don't you just go home with me.


v. 9  of Acts speaks of the promise of his return. The promise of his return is real. This is just as real as the virgin birth, perfect life, sacrificial death, burial, glorious resurrection.it was as real as if you'd seen it with your own eyes that day!
v. 10 He will return  " not another" the same way he left, physically!

As He left the earth ascending into heaven he also left behind some things.

 

 In our text passage for today, I want to point out a few things that Jesus left when He ascended to heaven.

 

 When Jesus said in John 19:30, "...it is finished..." He was saying that the atonement for sin was finished. That tells us that nothing more need be done. Salvation is complete in Christ. But the first thing He left for us was:

I. AN UNFINISHED TASK. Vs. 1.

(Acts 1:1) "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,"

A. His Task Was Not Finished. (Luke 19:10) "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
As long as there is one person who has not heard the message, the task is not finished.

B. He Left The Task To Be Finished By His Churches. (Mat 28:19)
1. The mission fields cry out, "unfinished".
2. The remote areas of every city and town cry out, "unfinished".
3. The whaling of the unsatisfied soul cries out, "unfinished."
4. The voices of your neighbors cry out, "unfinished."
5. You have some loved ones who cry out, "unfinished."

(John 9:4) "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."
Are you actively participating in carrying out His unfinished task? If you don't help, much of it will go undone. The time of Clairol Christianity is rapidly coming to an end.  By their fruit you shall know them. 

 

Did you know that is God allows us to enter into a time of Real Revival that Some of the present membership would leave and go elsewhere.  Real revival, will radically change a church in a mighty way.and many like it just how it is.  Let me give you my definition of what true revival is.

 

True Revival is the return of the people of God to the Word of God in the house of God, by the power of God, according to the plan of God, under the direction of God, and thus receiving the blessings of God.

II. AN UNSHAKABLE TESTIMONY. Vs. 10.

(Acts 1:10) "And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;"

If we could just get the professing Christians to "look steadfastly toward heaven," our task would be much easier.

Revelation 12:11   And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the
death.

A. Your Testimony Will Either Exalt Christ, Or It Will Shame Christ.
1. If you are looking for Him to come soon, you will cleanse yourself. (1 John 3:3) "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
2. He who has no thought toward the coming of Christ is not living a testimony for Him.

Romans 6:16   Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

 

Christians, don't live like the world will go on forever. In doing so you are sitting on a ticking time bomb. It could go off at any time.

B. You Can Lose Your Testimony In A Moment Of Time. (1 Pet 5:8) "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"


III. AN UNSTOPPABLE FORCE Vs. 11.
"....ye men of Galilee..."

(Luke 24:49) "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."
(Acts 2:4) "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost...."


This group of men returned that day to the upper room, and there with some of the other saints began to call upon the Lord in prayer; and then we see them in Acts 2 where 3,000 got saved. In Acts 4:4, 5,000 more got saved. In (Acts 5:14) "And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)"

A. The Fear Of Man Didn't Stop Them. (Acts 5:28) "Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine..."
(Acts 5:29) "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."
1. They took their command personally. "Go into all the world..."
These people weren't going to let some two-bit official hinder their work.
We are part of an unstoppable force.

2. They had the power of the Holy Spirit on them. (Acts 4:31) "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness."

When people of God fall in love with the Lord Jesus Christ and yield their bodies to the control of the Holy Spirit of God, you have an unstoppable force. The gates of hell shall not prevail against them. This is the Church we are suppose to be!

Luke 10:19   Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.


(Acts 4:13) "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."


When is the Last time you have really spent some quality time with Jesus?
People will know if and when you have been with Jesus. Your faith will be visible!

 

I think many have fell into the trap that Satan would have us to believe God is none other than a Genie in a bottle. Rub his belly, make your demands, name it claim it blab it and then grab it. God is sick of this mentality! He deserves our utmost recognition, Out utmost respect.

True Friendship don't take advantage of other friends that have more than themselves. They value their relationship to much!

The N.T. Church suffers today because those who would oppose us cannot see Jesus in our lives. These disciples had "JESUS" written all over them.

It makes a difference when you are doing the work of God through the power of "the God of the work.'

B. Persecution Didn't Stop Them.  Yes we are going to be persecuted!

 

2 Timothy 3:12   Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

 

Psalms 34:19   Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

 

1 Corinthians 15:19   If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

 

The difference is who you belong to!

Acts 19:13   Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

Acts 19:14   And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

Acts 19:15   And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

Acts 19:16   And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

 

You see what just happened here They did not belong to Jesus. Not only did they know and recognize who Paul did belong to the demons knew it as well.

 

Jesus said I know my sheep and they know me.

 

(Acts 8:3) "As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison."
(Acts 8:4) "Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word."


1. They were scattered because of persecution. They had to literally run for their lives. Saul (who became Paul) was leading the persecution against them.
2. Persecution allowed them to take the Gospel to the "uttermost parts of the earth."

That thing which they feared became their greatest tool in accomplishing their task. (Acts 19:10) "And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks."

We haven't yet gotten hold of this thing like they did in the 1st Century. We seem to huddle up and hunker down trying to protect our little flocks.

When we wake up and realize that we are an unstoppable force that the world must reckon with and we are willing to go out on the limb a little farther, then we can begin to see the fruit of N.T. results.

(4). AN UNFAILING PROMISE. Vs. 11.

(Acts 1:11) "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."

When I think of this I am reminded of Gen. Douglas McArthur. He was in charge of the S. Pacific Theatre and was stationed in the Philippines. During the latter days of WW2 Gen. McArthur's men had taken a beating and he withdrew them and moved them to Australia for a time of rest and retraining. As he boarded that DC9 in the Philippines those people looked to him as their saviour. He made his famous statement in saying, "I shall return."

Several months passed by and one day the people of the Philippines heard the roar of airplanes and looked up into the sky and saw the sky was filled with American airplanes. Gen McArthur kept his promise.
2,000 years ago Jesus stood on a mountain overlooking Jerusalem and said to His disciples: John 14:1-3

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. [2] In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

I know the battle gets tough. Don't be discouraged, one day soon that trumpet is going to blow, (1 Th 4:17) "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

That's an unfailing promise. If it wasn't so He would have told us so. I believe it. I am holding on to it. I am looking for Him to come today. Are you ready? If He comes today, will you go with Him? Until He comes, you are part of what He left behind to do His work!