Temple Baptist Church - 9-14-2014
A. Many years ago, Dr. Harold Sightler preached this message at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Greenville, SC and I think that it is worthy to be preached in our church also. Dr. Sightler was truly a “Prince of Preachers” and my pastor for several years. I will always be grateful for the privilege and never forget my years of sitting under this great man of God.
B. I sometimes feel that the local church and believers in general have forgotten the enormous task that was left to be finished and the empowerment of the local church and the believer. We are not alone in this task as it is His unfinished business. Sinners still die without Christ, the only Way of salvation, and the lost still go to hell for eternity.
C. In Acts chapter one, we find the last of the post resurrection appearances of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He is now ready to ascend into heaven and there to sit on the right hand of God as our High Priest to ever make intercession for us. Before His ascension, he sets forth the empowerment of the believer and task of evangelizing the world. The church was to:
1. Exemplify Christ to the Lost. We are His epistles read of men.
2. Evangelize the World. We are to share the good news of the gospel to all.
3. Edify and Encourage the Saints. Thus the importance of the local church.
D. In order to properly equip the saints, the Lord—before His ascension—left some things to the church. He left:
1. An Un-Paralleled Gift - Acts 1:4-5 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. (5) For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (The Promise)
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (The Person: Expedient – good, profitable, better)
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (The Permanence)
2. An Unchanging Message - Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (An unchanging message that changes our destiny, our lives, and our desires.)
3. An Unshakable Testimony - Acts 1:9-11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. (10) And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; (11) Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (We know both whom and what we believe and it cannot be shaken.)
4. An Unlimited Power - Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
5. An Unending Commission - Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Notice the word “how” in this verse. Impossibility is implied here. No preacher, no hearing, and no believing.)
6. An Unfailing Promise - Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.