Not Settling for Business As Usual
During our fast, Pastor Dan had a vision of our church at a fork in the road. One way was to just be a business as usual church and we might find success there but it was a lower vision of what God had. The other way was to follow Christ into crazy and uncharted territory and to listen to His voice and leading while reaching out to those around us.
As we have just completed our Calling Parkland Foursquare meetings I am reminded that we can easily fall into a business as usual mindset and forget to what we have been called as a body. Christ still desires for us to love Him with all of our hearts, minds, souls and strengths. He desires for us to to bring His truth to those around us both familiar with God and those who aren't. We are a family under the head of Christ. What a blessing to have a home base to spring forward from to bring Truth and love to those in need.
The meetings this past Saturday and Wednesday really did cement what we have already known about Parkland Foursquare. If you were not able to make it to either meeting and would like to know more please feel free to reach out to Dan or the church email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calling Parkland Foursquare Home Visual Resources
If you were looking for a couple of resources from our Calling PFC Home meetings I have compiled them here under separate links. I would like to reiterate what Pastor Dan had said during our meetings. Family commitments are being written down so we can all be on the same page and run together after the mission God has called us to with more clarity.
Calling Parkland Foursquare Home:
Anyone who calls Parkland Foursquare home, we expect to align with the shared family commitments. Ministry leaders at Parkland Foursquare are held to additional expectations to shepherd the flock which are listed on the backside of the family commitments card. Please simply email pastor Dan with any questions email@example.com.
Most people who call Parkland Foursquare home will be able to vote for key areas that influence the direction of the church including ratifying church council members and voting to purchase any property. The international Church of the Foursquare Gospel has four requirements to be a voting member. Which you an review on the Parkland Foursquare membership form.
If we are missing anything please let us know below by commenting or of course sending us an email.
Pastor Dan's Sermon
The continued Acts of Jesus through the Church and the Holy Spirit
Question: Why does this matter to Theophilus? (We explored point vii last week)
a. In the first 11 verses of Acts, Luke has already made a strong case for:
i. The historicity of Jesus
ii. He made a case for the ministry of the Holy Spirit through Jesus
iii. He made a case for the bodily resurrection
iv. The disciples chosen by Jesus
v. He gave them a clear plan to continue this ministry
vi. The disciples waited for the promised Holy Spirit
vii. The Holy Spirit was promised by the Father
the continuity between Judaism and Christianity, the continuity between OT prophecy and the events that transpired among Jesus’ followers both before and after Easter (and Pentecost). This concern is understandable in the first century, because the one thing bound to offend many pagans in the Empire was a religion that was too new, a religion which could not claim a lengthy pedigree going back into hoary antiquity.
viii. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit just like Jesus was.
Luke established the points above in Acts 1:1-8, but has more groundwork he wants to lay before he jumps into the historical account of Jesus sending the Holy Spirit. Today, I want to talk about the importance of the Ascension:
Acts 1:4–11 ESV
4 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; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 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.”
9 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. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 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.”
“Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). I believe the reason the disciples used the phrase “restore the kingdom to Israel” is that they were anticipating a nationalistic kingdom of earthly glory as in the days of David and Solomon. Jesus said, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:7-8). They needed to forget the idea of an immediate defeat of Rome and the restoration of the Jewish kingdom and concentrate on the mission He had given them: And He said to them, “Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16).
I. Why did Luke reiterate the ascension story to Theophilus in Acts 1:9-11 when he gave an account at the end of the gospel of Luke?
1. The book of Acts is about the continuing work of Jesus through the Holy Spirit and the Church. Luke wanted to remind Theophilus that Jesus physically went to heaven and continued his ministry not in a secret hide out somewhere, but sent the Holy Spirit from a place of authority, at the right hand of God.
1 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.”(Acts 1:11)
2. Luke wanted to emphasize in Acts 1:11 “This Jesus”, not some other counterfeit Jesus.
a) This Jesus is the same Jesus Luke spoke of in his gospel who visibly and obviously ascended before his disciples eyes (Acts 1:11). This is the same Jesus Stephen would see at the right hand of God in Acts 7:56 and is the same Jesus whom Paul preaches, is the same Jesus who promised to send the Holy Spirit when he left and the same Jesus who is coming back to earth, not as a baby this time, but in the same way he left, with a glorified body to establish His Kingdom on earth once and for all.
3. The ascended and enthroned Christ pours out his Spirit on the church.
Jesus himself had told his disciples that it was good for him to go away, because only then would he send them another Helper, the Spirit of truth (John 16:7-16). And that’s exactly what happened on the Day of Pentecost, ten days after Jesus’ ascension. The Spirit descended on the church with power, inaugurating a new age in the history of salvation.
That’s why Peter connects Jesus’ exaltation and the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2:33:
Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.
Because of ministry time earlier Pastor Dan had decided to save the other half of his sermon for another time.
Why is the ascension important to believers and why is it important that we have a firm grasp on it? Please answer below if you would like!
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