Acts for Today's Disciples: Part 1

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Acts for Today's Disciples

Part 1

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Acts for Today's Disciples: Part 1

MP4 Video - 1080p (153.53 MB)
MP4 Video - 720p (92.54 MB)
MP3 Audio (1.97 MB)
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Exploring the book of Acts opens up rich lessons for us today.

Transcript

[Darris McNeely] The "Book of Acts" is one of my favorite books to go through, the fact I get to teach it every year to a group of students at our Ambassador Bible College here at the United Church of God office. It is a book that is actually written to, for, and about the disciples that Jesus Christ called and the work that He was carrying on and continues to carry on through His disciples, the work of the resurrected Christ. It's an amazing book, and there's great lessons for us to look at and to learn from today as disciples of Jesus Christ.

When you look into the first chapter, you need to go no further to begin to understand the importance of the actions that they took as they were commissioned by Christ to go take the gospel to the world and, in turn, make disciples of the gospel of the Kingdom of God and of Jesus Christ. There's a very interesting passage in Acts 1:10 Acts 1:10And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
American King James Version×
at the point where Jesus Christ made His final ascension to heaven and the disciples are standing on the Mount of Olives just to the east of Jerusalem and they actually watched.

After 40 days of the resurrected Christ appearing, being with them, teaching them the things of the Kingdom of God, Christ is making His final ascent, taking up into a cloud and He disappears. And the disciples are standing there, obviously amazed at this site, but they seem to linger just a little bit too long. Because as we read the account in verse 10, "They looked steadfastly toward heaven, looking up as He went up. Then, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel," two angels appeared and began to look at them.

And they said this to the disciples in verse 11, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?" Again, the disciples were just mesmerized by what they were seeing. I would be, too. And you kind of linger a little bit too long. They went on to say, "The same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." It's in that question, but to the disciples, "Why do you stand gazing? Why are you just looking up?" In other words, "Don't you have something to do? Get busy."

In Mark 16, we find where Jesus had appeared at one point to His disciples, shortly after His resurrection. And He found His disciples in the room where they had been used to gathering. And they were setting a table and He rebuked them. It says in Mark 16:14 Mark 16:14Afterward he appeared to the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
American King James Version×
, "Because they did not believe those who had seen Him after the resurrection. They had a hardness of heart," it says here, an unbelief. And so, Jesus had to rebuke them. And He said to them, "Go to the world. Preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned." And He went on to give some signs. But, essentially, He rebuked them for their inaction and He said, "Go to the world."

And all of what we then read later in Acts 1 where they're standing, gazing up, and having to be prodded once again, really, is a lesson for us to consider as we think about our duties and our responsibilities as disciples. God's church moves forward, and it moves forward by the work of the resurrected Christ in His disciples who are called to that role. We're called to that role to be a disciple and we don't have the luxury of stargazing, of looking up. Our job, our calling is to get busy and to preach the gospel. An effective lesson, a very important lesson for a disciple, today's disciples from the very "Book of Acts."

That's "BT Daily." Join us next time.

Comments

  • twocents
    Thank you, Mr. NcNeely, for teaching this Bible record of God's awesome work in His first century Church. By the way, as Mr. McNeely mentions here, Acts is taught yearly at the Ambassador Bible College (ABC), and the live audio lessons from 2012 can be accessed for listening and/or download at http://abc.ucg.org/courses/acts-apostles. Many other subjects taught at ABC can also be accessed for listening and/or download at http://abc.ucg.org/courses.
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