Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The essence of the Ascension

“The issue of the church is the issue of the Glory of God.

It’s not a church – fetish I’m in,
But a hunger to glorify Him, to know His will and to be His will.”

Sermon "Ascend" Bob Gladstone

I downloaded this sermon from Bob Gladstone on about the ascension of Jesus.
Because the sermon lasted like 70 minutes, I wasn’t able to hear all of it attentively. Even not after three times. But somehow I knew this message was very important.
So this morning I listened to it again (persistent I know). And though I wasn’t able to listen to the whole sermon all at once, I DID get some of it. I'll summarize it:

Two parts of the bible are very clear about the power of the ascension. Jesus was wounded and tortured terribly to take away our sickness, He died a horrible death on the cross to pay for our sins, He rose from the grave to save our souls. He has overcome death. He is risen and He was able to save the ones He loves (every living creature on this earth).
We ARE saved and the relationship with the Heavenly Father has been restored. The veil was teared. When He died He said: “It is finished”
He had done his job. Why is it then, that He couldn’t just stay with us to enjoy our company? So why then, did He ascend?

Two scriptures are very clear on that.

Ephesians 3:21 - 4:16 (4:8)
When He ascended on high,
He led captives in His train and GAVE GIFTS to men.

The church needs more than salvation only, they need gifst to be able to individually and corporately Glorify God and represent God as it is explained in this chapter of Ephesians. He knew the church needed His gifst, and His Holy Spirit.

John 20:11-17
Stop clinging to me!
Because I have not yet returned to the Father.

He is stopping a worshipper from worshipping. Why? He knew He had to ascend first. Why?

Acts 1:5 + 8
To be able to baptize us with the Holy Spirit.

The Bible sais clearly that we need to be babtised in both water AND Spirit.
It was essential in order to give us POWER (to serve this nation with power) by the Holy Spirit. We needed the ascension in order to be witnesses to the ends of the earth.

Well... I couldn't help sharing this. It may not be really practical YET, but It's been on my mind since friday and I just know it's an important issue.


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