Acts 1:1-11
What Jesus Left

We have four books called the gospels that all relate the birth, the
life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus, but then stop.  The
book of Acts picks up where the gospels leave off, telling us what
happened to Jesus, the disciples, and the message of the

At the very beginning, Acts reveals to us that Jesus returned to the
Father—as He had promised.  However, He did not leave the disciples
with nothing.  He left some things for them and for us.

What did Jesus leave with us?

I. \\#3\\ Proofs of the Resurrection
    A. Not only are there proofs but Luke said "many" proofs that
       were "infallible" or unshakeable proofs.  What are some of
       these proofs?
        1. The Empty Grave.
            a. I would point out first that "forty days" has passed
                since the resurrection.
            b. That would not be forty days of passivity for those
                who had killed Jesus.
            c. Witnesses would be testifying about the empty tomb and
                the risen Lord.
                (1) Perhaps not boldly on the street corners, but the
                     rumors would be filling the country side.
                (2) Those who wanted to stop Jesus would certainly
                     be  wanting to stop those rumors.
            d. What is the best way to stop the rumors?
                (1) Produce a body.
                (2) Put a body back into that tomb and the rumors
                     would stop.
        2. The Many Witnesses
            a. The Bible records 13 different appearances of the
                risen Jesus Christ.
                (1) I do not know whether that is all the times Jesus
                     appeared or not.  Personally, I do not think so
                     but I do not know.
                (2) It does not appear as though Jesus stayed with
                     the disciples but rather that He appeared for
                     a meeting and then disappeared.
            b. These appearances occurred in different enough places
                to prove that they were not a hoax.  You might be
                able to set up a some sort of an illusion in an upper
                room but you could not do so on a sea side beach.
            c. These appearances occurred with enough people present
                to prove that they were not hallucinating.  On one
                occasion, Jesus appeared to 500 at the same time.
            d. These appearances had a profound enough effect on
                those who saw them, to prove that they were not
                faking it.
                (1) Take the disciples for an example.
                (2) 10 of the remaining eleven were martyred for the
                     preaching Jesus was the Christ.
                (3) The eleventh was John who was boiled alive in oil
                     and should have died, but did not.  He was later
                     exiled to the island of Patmos.
                (4) These men all lived poor, persecuted lives.  They
                     did not profit financially from their faith.
                (5) What else but a risen Lord could so drastically?
                     change these men who trembled and fled the night
                     that Jesus was arrested?
        3. The Living Church
            a. Yet, the effect of the resurrection was not limited to
                those who were the closest to Jesus and were, so to
                speak on the "top of ministry ladder."
            b. No, thousands who lived in that area during that time
                became followers as well.
            c. If there was no validity…
                (1) to the claims that Jesus lived a holy life…
                (2) to the claims that Jesus did the miracles…
                (3) to the claims that Jesus was arrested, crucified,
                     and buried…
                (4) to the claims that Jesus rose on the third day…
                (5) to the claims that the apostles did powerful
                     miracles as they spread the message of Jesus’
            d. …then why did so many people follow Jesus and in
                turn give their lives for Jesus Christ?
    B. One of the greatest proofs of the resurrection is the impact
        it still has on people’s lives.
        1. You and I live more than 2,000 years removed from the
            resurrection and 1/3 of the world away.
        2. Most will never view the land where these things occurred
            and as far as I know, none of us did BEFORE we believed
            on them, yet we do believe.
        3. Our faith has changed our lives and many have become
            unshakeable in our determination to complete our race
            with Jesus.
        4. I am not sure but that Luke, when speaking of the many
            proofs of the resurrection, did not mean the people!
        5. Every person whose life has been changed by Jesus Christ
            is a testimony to the resurrected Lord.

II. \\#4, 8\\ Commands to be Obeyed
    A. Jesus left two commands.
        1. \\#4\\ Wait for the coming of the Holy Ghost.
            a. The Holy Spirit had been promised (John 14 and 16).
            b. Now that Jesus was departing, it was time for Him to
        2. \\#8\\ Be witnesses
            a. There are a lot of things that changed during the
                time period of the book of Acts.
            b. One is, "Who is going to do the work?"
            c. Jesus had done the preaching and teaching while He was
                here, but He is leaving.
            d. In the book of Acts, those who had witnessed what
                Jesus had done stepped up to take over the ministry.
            e. By the way, in time the responsibility passed again.
                (1) As those witnesses died, someone again had to
                     take up the mantle.
                (2) Who did it fall to?
                     (a) The believers
                     (b) Those who believed that Jesus was God, came
                          in the flesh, died on the cross, and rose
                          from the grave
                     (c) That is you and I.
    B. It makes sense that the two commands, wait and witness, would
        be given together.  Why?
        1. Because it is an impossible story to be believed without
            the Holy Ghost.
            a. Have you really considered the message we preach?  It
                is filled with impossibilities.
                (1) God cares.
                (2) God put on flesh and came.
                (3) God died and was buried.
                (4) God arose and ascended.
                (5) God will save you from your sins.
            b. Every bit of it sounds like a made-up story.
            c. It takes a work of God by God the Holy Ghost for men
                to believe it.

Joh 6:44  No man can come to me, except the
Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will
raise him up at the last day.

        2. Because it is impossible for the lost to care without the
            Holy Ghost.
            a. We preach an impossible story that requires faith to
                be believed.
            b. Why would men care?
                (1) Everyone is busy with their own lives doing the
                     things that they enjoy doing.
                (2) Who wants to think about God, death, hell, or
                (3) Who wants their behavior to change or be changed?
                (4) Who wants to deny themselves and surrender
                     control of their lives to Another?
            c. No one.  Not on their own.  It will take a work of the
                Holy Ghost.
            d. We should not be surprised that people do not want to
                hear our message?
                (1) Because of the negative Reponses, many have quit
                     speaking for Christ altogether.
                (2) That is not the response we should give.
                (3) Rather, we should see the essential need in
                     have the presence of the Holy Ghost of God upon
            e. By the way, it was the person of the Holy Ghost who
                caused the very people who had crucified Jesus to
                care and believe!
        3. Because it is impossible for believers to care without the
            Holy Ghost.
            a. We are pretty much like the lost, busy with our lives
                and not wanting to be put out to share Jesus with
            b. If we aren’t filled with the Holy Ghost, we are going
                to let countless souls fall into hell without a
                second thought.

III. \\#11\\ A Promise to be Believed
    A. Jesus promised that He would return.
    B. Notice what the angels said.
        1. This "same Jesus" will return.
            a. Death won’t kill Him.
            b. Time won’t change Him.
            c. Business won’t cause Him to delegate.
            d. Carelessness won’t cause Him to forget.
        2. He will come in "like manner."
            a. The angels were not talking about Jesus’ coming for
                us, the church.
                (1) When Jesus comes for the church, He will come as
                     a thief in the night.
                (2) No one but those He came for will see Him.
            b. They were talking about when Jesus returns to set up
                His kingdom.
                (1) \\#Rev 1:7\\ Every eye shall see Him.
                (2) He will descend from heaven much like He
                (3) He will appear over Jerusalem, riding His white
                     horse; but at some point, Jesus will dismount
                     and descend to the top of the Mount of Olives.
                (4) He will return to the same place from which He
                     left, the Mount of Olives.
    C. Why give this promise?
        1. To comfort \\#John 16:6\\
        2. To challenge
        3. To warn

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