Promised

In being filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus first forgives and restores us. (The Holy Spirit regenerates us.) Then, we have the Great Commission, which Jesus first gave to His disciples before His ascension. After giving the disciples the Great Commission, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to them in Acts 1:1-11:

In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

Jesus instructs His disciples to remain in Jerusalem until the promise of the Father—to be “baptized with the Holy Spirit”—comes upon them. Even so, we cannot fulfill the Great Commission without the empowering of the Spirit of Christ (John 15:5). Should we wait for some warm, fuzzy feeling before we evangelize the lost? No. We are to evangelize people in the full confidence that we do so in the power of the Spirit (not on our own power). Even so, to evangelize without prior and continued reliance upon the Spirit of God is an exercise in vanity. We must rely on the Holy Spirit if we are to truly evangelize, and Jesus commands us to evangelize in prayerful reliance upon God.

Many people today are like those first disciples. They ask, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” People today are enthralled with thoughts and speculations about the end times. But Jesus said (and says), “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” Rather, Jesus says, we should be His witnesses in the “power when the Holy Spirit” comes upon us. We all as Christians have the Holy Spirit, and by prayerfully relying upon Him, we can be witnesses for Christ “to the end of the earth.”

Immediately after saying this, Jesus ascends into heaven. And even then, the disciples “were gazing into heaven.” But two “men in white robes,” angels, came up and asked, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Our assurance of Christ’s return is our motivation to evermore pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Christ’s return is the motivation of all our evangelism; indeed, Christ’s return should mobilize us into urgent evangelization!

As Christians, we must realize just how good Jesus’ good news is! And we must realize that the Holy Spirit does empower us to witness for Jesus’ sake! Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by [Him]” (John 14:6)!

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. April 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm
  2. April 30, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: