We begin a NEW sermon series “The church goes out”. With preaching from Nathan Gordon and our service led by Richard Sills.
To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.
We often hear the phrase “Time is of the essence” or “Life is too short” which is a healthy reminder that humanity is subject to time and seasons. Our relationship with TIME can either be positive or negative. There are times in our lives where things happen at just the right time we were expecting or on the contrary situations may occur in our lives that appear at the least expected time that cause shock and pain.
Acts chapter one is a powerful reminder that God’s timing is always best, even when it appears to be incongruent with our finite timeframes. Before Jesus ascended to the Father, the disciples were challenged to wait for the promised Holy Spirit, move forward into their apostolic destinies and fulfil the mission of Christ, whilst earnestly expecting the return of the Messiah.
Exciting times ahead – v3,4 & 8
- The promised Gift of the Holy Spirit
- Vision for the future
- Power to proclaim the Good News
- Exciting times ahead for the church of today
Challenge – The role and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and within the Church should breed an air of excitement for the great things He would allow us to see. Do you feel empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a witness for Christ in this generation?
Challenging times ahead – v9 & 10
- The apostles would have to face their apostolic endeavours without the face-to-face presence of Jesus
- Severe persecution would soon be the reality for the early church
- Jesus has promised to return without setting a date and time
- Just like the early church we are not exempt from challenging seasons in our lives.
Challenge – despite the early church experiencing rapid growth which would have been extremely exciting for the Apostles to witness, the reality would soon materialise of challenging times ahead.
Clarity in the process of waiting – v10
- Jesus will come back at the appointed time known by the Father
- There is clarity through God’s word that Jesus will return
- The Apostles were charged by the angels to stop focusing on what happened and prepare for his return
Challenge – Are we eagerly anticipating and expecting the return of Jesus Christ?
May the clarity of Scripture amidst our challenges and struggles provide us with a strong sense of hope that Christ is coming back for the Church.
- After His resurrection, Jesus spent some forty days with His disciples; how do you think they felt about this time with Him?
- How might Acts 1:6-11 shape how we think about the ‘end times’ or the return of Jesus?
- How should the prospect of Christ’s return affect the way you live your Christian life?
- How do we know when the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives?
- When was there a time you wanted to move on from a location, job, or difficult relationship but was held back by God’s leading?
Sermon Title: Jesus’ return “in like manner”
Bible Reading: Acts 1
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Richard Sills