The Significance of the Ascension

John MacArthur – Grace to You

Luke 24:50-53

December 21, 2008

Well, this is a special Lord’s day in the sense of our text of Luke because we have finally come to the final paragraph in Luke’s gospel, and we close out this great history with many wonderful memories of what we have learned in these ten years in Luke, many wonderful benefits spiritually to these great truths, this great account of Christ. Let’s look together at the final paragraph, verses 50 to 53.

Before I read them to you, just simply to make a comment. This is the brief account of the ascension of Christ into heaven, having completed His earthly journey and His earthly work. It is a significant event, maybe, in some ways, far more significant than most people give it credit for. In our culture we have a tradition of honoring the birth of people. We celebrate birthdays. When there is someone important, we make note of their birthday. Sometimes we even make national holidays out of the birthday of famous people, Presidents, and so forth. We do that not because their birth was significant, because none of their births were really significant. And when they were born, they had accomplished absolutely nothing. So at the risk of seeming a little bit odd, may I suggest another approach? That we begin to celebrate the death day of significant people which marks the culmination of their achievement.

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Being Poor in Spirit

John MacArthur – Grace to You

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3).

The Puritan writer Thomas Watson listed seven ways to determine if you are poor in spirit (The Beatitudes [Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1971], pp. 45-48):

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Not a Kingdom Now

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Every blossoming flower warns

C H Spurgeon – Devotional

“It is time to seek the Lord.”
– Hos_10:12

This month of April is said to derive its name from the Latin verb aperio, which signifies to open, because all the buds and blossoms are now opening, and we have arrived at the gates of the flowery year. Reader, if you are yet unsaved, may your heart, in accord with the universal awakening of nature, be opened to receive the Lord. Every blossoming flower warns you that it is time to seek the Lord; be not out of tune with nature, but let your heart bud and bloom with holy desires. Do you tell me that the warm blood of youth leaps in your veins? then, I entreat you, give your vigour to the Lord. It was my unspeakable happiness to be called in early youth, and I could fain praise the Lord every day for it.

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The Passing of the Saints

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled “Precious Deaths,” delivered February 18, 1872.

Let us be persuaded of this, that no believer dies an untimely death. In every consistent Christian’s case that promise is true, “With long life also will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation;” for long life is not to be reckoned by years as men count them. He lives longest who lives best. Many a man has crowded half a century into a single year. God gives his people life, not as the clock ticks, but as he helps them to serve him; and he can make them to live much in a short space of time. There are no untimely figs gathered into God’s basket; the great Master of the vineyard plucks the grapes when they are ripe and ready to be taken, and not before. Saintly deaths are precious in his sight.

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After I lead people to Christ, should I offer them immediate assurance?

John MacArthur – Grace to You – Q & A

John 3:16; Romans 8:16; Romans 15:4

It isn’t your task as an evangelist to give immediate assurance to people you lead to Christ. The Holy Spirit will do that work: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16).

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When the waves are ready to swallow you

 

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled “Faith’s Dawn and its Clouds,” delivered January 28, 1872.

Happy is that man who can not only believe when the waves softly ripple to the music of peace, but continues to trust in Him who is almighty to save when the hurricane is let loose in its fury, and the Atlantic breakers follow each other, eager to swallow up the barque of the mariner. Surely Christ Jesus is fit to be believed at all times, for, like the pole star, he abides in his faithfulness, let storms rage as they may. He is always divine, always omnipotent to succor, always overflowing with lovingkindness, ready and willing to receive sinners, even the very chief of them. Sorrowful one, do not add to thy sorrows by unbelief, that is a bitterness which it is superfluous to mingle with thy cup. Better far is it to say, “Though he slay me yet will I trust in him.”

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