Acts 1: 6-7
At the beginning we are introduced to the narrow concept of the disciples from which
Christianity had to free itself: " Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"
They had assumed that the kingdom belonged to Israel.
No doubt the disciples had by now been freed from the earlier idea of a temporal and
political kingdom, but they still placed a national interpretation upon the kingdom.
Somehow, they felt that the kingdom would expand within Judaism, for Judaism was to them
a nation as well as a religion.
So the apostles were curious about prophecy, and in their last conversation with Jesus
before His ascension they asked Him when He was going to set up the kingdom.
To be obsessively preoccupied with Christ's return, however, is wrong.
Some Christians read only books and magazine articles that deal with last things.
They want to know not only what but where and when.
Many such Christians are more interested in predictions than in the proclamation of the
Good News which gives light and life.
We ought to be knowledgeable about the coming again of our Lord, but our major responsibility,
as Christians, is to tell others about the One whose coming we expect.
Jesus did not come to satisfy man's curiosity about God's time schedule.
He came to reveal God to man and to lead man into a right relationship with God.
We must remember this!
Christ's last words were words of correction.
Their question is filled with several wrong elements.
One of the greatest concepts of the New Testament is "the kingdom of God."
It is misunderstood when earthly kingdoms are used as a pattern for this spiritual concept.
An earthly kingdom is a land and a nation on which the king depends.
Take away his people and he ceases to be king.
But God Himself makes His kingdom. It depends wholly upon Him.
It could not exist without Him. God's kingdom is found wherever God is and rules by
His power, grace, and glory.
He makes His own domain and His own people and never, they Him.
So our curiosity is also checked by Christ in order that our attention might be centered upon Him.
Our attention must be centered upon Him!
"But ye shall receive power!"
The great need for the church's effective ministry is that the church be empowered by the blessed Holy Spirit.
Nothing can take place of that endowment.
On the other hand, when empowered by the Holy Spirit, a church of any size can use
even an inadequate building to the glory of God, can win the lost and discover a leadership
whose vision and wisdom are works of the Spirit.
What is the church's power?
It is to be possessed by the Holy Spirit!
What is the church's function?
It is to be His witnesses!
Jesus points out that this indwelling is not a ritual, but a reality; not a program but a power.
What kind of power is Jesus talking about?
This is a most wonderful thing!
The mark of a carnal church is that it loves to talk about itself!
These early Christians never witnessed about the church itself - they witnessed about the Lord!
We must get our eyes off ourselves and focus our attention upon Jesus!
Jesus only is our message,
Jesus all our theme shall be;
We will lift up Jesus ever,
Jesus only will we see.
Jesus only! Jesus ever!
Jesus in all we sing!
Savior, Sanctifier, Healer,
Glorious Lord, and Coming King!
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White