Hello everyone. 🙂
Today I will be talking about something incredible and powerful: Jesus’ ascension to heaven and what this means to us.
We already learned a couple of weeks ago that Jesus rose from the dead: a conqueror over sin. We then learned last week that Jesus had another brief time of ministry on earth after His resurrection. Now, we come to a part of Jesus’ life that should both encourage and sober us.
Jesus ascended back to heaven!
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him,saying, Lord*, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power.
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.
And when he had spoken these things while they beheld he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
And while they looked stedfastly* toward heaven as he went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel;
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.
Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.” Acts 1:6-12 (KJV)
Jesus is a loving conqueror. He hates sin and He loves sinners. He faced sin head on in all of its ugliness when He struggled in Gethsemane and then died on the cross for our sins-for ALL of our sins. Then, after another brief time of ministry on earth, He victoriously ascended to heaven.
And…the story isn’t over yet! As the angels told Jesus’ disciples, “…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” Acts 1:11 (KJV).
Praise God! The Jesus that I know is SO good and SO loving and I want Him to come back. Life with Him is peaceful and good. His ways are the ways of righteousness, which are the ways of complete unselfishness. Heaven is His home and it is a place of beautiful joy, because everyone there lives to bless everyone else there. Jesus wants us to be able to live with Him in heaven, but He knows that, in order to preserve the purity, joy, harmony and love of heaven, He can only bring to heaven those who exemplify these traits in their hearts and lives. For that matter, those who are impure, who cling to dark, miserable things, and who are contentious and unloving could never be happy in heaven, because the ways of heaven are completely unlike their own.
“Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” Psalm 24:3-5 (KJV)
The question that should next arise is; how can we be ready for Jesus to come? We are all so weak. We cannot change ourselves. How can we become clean and pure so that we will be ready for Jesus to come?
Below, I am sharing what God says we must do in order to be forgiven, cleansed and changed into totally unselfish, loving, heaven-fit people. This is all SO empowering and SO encouraging. I beg you all to click on the Bible verses below and read them as well. I cannot beg you hard enough.
- By confessing our sins and receiving God’s forgiveness and cleansing. 1 John 1:9
- By studying God’s Word and obeying it. Psalm 119:9-12
- By thinking about God’s love. 1 John 4:16-19
- By having an active prayer life and by exercising faith in God. Hebrews 11:6 (Note: God knows that we struggle to pray. He is so sympathetic, wise and compassionate. Romans 8:26)
- By engaging in loving service to others. Isaiah 58:6-11
- By praising God for His goodness. Psalm 100:4-5
- By trusting in and resting in God. Isaiah 30:15, Isaiah 32:17
When we are redeemed by God, we can rest confidently in God. I will conclude this blog-post with two beautiful songs that express the rest that we can have in God. One song is of God speaking to us, and the other is of King David expressing the rest that he had found in God. I hope that this blog-post has been a blessing to you and I hope that you will stay tuned for my remaining blog-posts in this series about Jesus.