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Jesus' Last Words




Summary: This text deals with Jesus’ last words and His last sighting.

- Wait patiently - Worry not - Witness everywhere - Wonder not


A teacher asked her students, ‘Who is your favorite author?’ One of the students said ‘George Washington’ is his favorite author. The teacher says, ‘But George Washington never wrote any books.’  The boy said, ‘You got it’. That boy was no reader.


So the teacher asks another question: ‘How many books have you read in your lifetime’? One pupil said: ‘I don’t know. I’m not dead yet.’


You would think that the teacher would give up by now, but she asks another question: ‘What does your history book tell you about the Civil War? The pupil’s answer: ‘It doesn’t tell me anything. I haven’t read the dumb thing.


It has been said that Harry Truman was one of our most bookish Presidents. Ken McCormick of Doubleday Book Company remembers going up to see him at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel after Truman had left the White House.


He arrived early in the morning, and the President wasn’t up yet, but Mrs. Truman said, “Go right into his bedroom—he’d love to see you, Ken.”


So, Ken walked in, and there was the President, the former President, sitting in a big chair with two stacks of new books on either side of his chair.


Ken said, “Mr. President, as a publisher, I’m so pleased to see that you’re buying all those books. I suppose you read yourself to sleep at night.” He said, “No, young man, I read myself awake.” That’s what books do for some people. Some books will put you to sleep, and some may keep you awake if they’re really good!


We all know plenty of stories. All of us are a veritable gold mine of stories and even wisdom for life, but few of us write a book.


Maybe you have never even considered writing a book. It might have been the least desirable thing you would want to do in life, but not for a doctor. A doctor is an educated man. He spends a lot of time studying.


Well, you know who wrote the Book of Acts. Dr. Luke. It basically contains the history of the early church, the growth of the church, persecution, etc.


Luke starts in chapter one with Jesus’ last words and the last time He was seen by anyone on earth before He ascended into heaven.


Think about this: What would your last words be if you knew that you were about to leave this world? Who would you speak those last words to?


More than likely, if you had the choice, you would want to speak to your family members: your husband or your wife, your children, and others you love.


But what would you say? “I love you!” Yes, of course, but what else?


What would you say to your loved ones? I would say something like: “I love you very much! But Jesus loves you more. Don’t worry about me. I’m going to a far better place. I am going to be with the Lord, with the Father and the Savior. I’ll be just fine. But please seek the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul. Love Him, worship Him, live for Him, and you will never be sorry. And I will look forward to seeing you again. I love you.”


With that in mind, let’s look at what Jesus said to those He loved on the day He was about to leave this earth.


It is important for us to see how it relates to us today as we wait for Jesus to return.


Jesus told His closest friends – those He loved, taught, and left to complete His work: Wait patiently - Worry not - Witness everywhere - Wonder not.


I. WAIT PATIENTLY

Acts 1:4-5 “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Wait for the gift.


Waiting is not always something we do well, nor is it the thing we do the best. It seems like we, in this country, are always in a hurry. And we want what we want right now! We’ve got a lot to do, and we don’t have time to wait on anybody or anything! You’ve heard about the man who prayed to God, saying: “God, give me patience – AND GIVE IT TO ME NOW!”


We are often impatient with people and with God.


It was said that the outstanding characteristics of the New England preacher Phillips Brooks were poise and calmness. His close friends, however, knew that, at times, he suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day, a friend saw him pacing the floor like a caged lion. ‘What is the trouble, Dr. Brooks?’ asked the friend. ‘The trouble is that I’m in a hurry, but God isn’t!’” Does that sound like us sometimes?


I think sometimes God is going to answer our prayer with the answer we want, but He wants us to learn patience and to know that He knows the best timing to give us what we ask for.


Jesus said to His apostles, “Wait for the gift my Father promised…”


If we all knew we were going to get a special gift from someone, especially from our Heavenly Father, we would be anxious to receive it.


However, in the case of the apostles, they really didn’t understand what that gift was going to be. They only knew that John baptized or immersed people in water, and they were going to be immersed with the Holy Spirit.


That wasn’t something they had seen happen. We are often apprehensive or a bit afraid of the unknown. The apostles were in that kind of situation as they waited.


They might have been thinking, “Wonder what this is going to be like?” They must have been somewhat excited, like a kid on Christmas morning, impatiently waiting to open his gifts.


I believe that God has many gifts that He wants to give us. But we just have to learn to be patient.


We might pray, “Lord, when is this trial going to be over? And when is something good going to happen?”


We have to learn to trust the Lord and His timing.


Prov. 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”


Psalm 40:1-2 “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”


God is saying to us in life: Be patient. Trust me. Keep praying. Keep seeking. And I will lead you and bless you. Wait patiently.


And as we wait patiently, we are told not to do something.


II. WORRY NOT

Acts 1:6-7 “So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” Don’t worry about it.


ILL.- Someone wrote their view on worry.

There are only two things to worry about:

Either you are well, or you are sick.

If you are well, then there’s nothing to worry about.

If you are sick, there are two things to worry about:

Either you will get well, or you will die.

If you get well, there is nothing to worry about.

If you die, there are only two things to worry about:

Either you will go to Heaven or Hell.

If you go to Heaven, there is nothing to worry about.

But if you go to Hell, you’ll have plenty of friends to talk to, so you won’t have time to worry.


The disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”


Many Christians worry or stew over certain things when it comes to the Lord’s kingdom. There was once a commercial on TV that made this statement: “Inquiring minds want to know.” I don’t remember what product was being sold, but the statement is true. People are curious. We want to know the answers to our questions.


We, as Christians, would like to know when Jesus is coming back. I’m afraid that many want to know when He is coming back so that they can live an unrepentant life up to that day and then try to get ready to accept Him as Lord.  


When is Jesus coming back? Will He come back silently, as in the secret rapture that many people talk about?


Or will He come bursting through the sky with angels blowing trumpets to announce His arrival?


Will heaven be on earth or somewhere else? Is there a difference between paradise and heaven?  So many questions.


For ages, people have been trying to guess when the Lord will come back and what life will be like.


But, in reality, it does not matter what I think. Our Lord is the manager of the universe, and He knows exactly what He is doing, and it will be done correctly whenever and wherever it happens


It matters not what we think. The Lord is in control! He will take care of things. Our job is to walk by faith and put our trust in Him.


The story is told of a French soldier in World War I who carried a little recipe for worry:


“Of two things, one is certain.

Either you are at the front, or you are behind the lines.


Either you are exposed to danger, or you are in a safe place.

Either you are wounded, or you are not wounded.

If you are wounded, of two things, one is certain.

Either you recover, or you die.

If you recover, there is no need to worry.

If you die, you can’t worry. SO WHY WORRY?”


There are many things in this life that we fret and stew over, and yet there is little we can do about them. The best thing to do is to pray and trust the Lord to take care of these matters.


Someone said, “Every evening, I turn worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway.” Worry not.


III. WITNESS EVERYWHERE – Instructions

Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


ILL.- Dr. Howard A. Kelly was in the habit of wearing a button with a question mark on it. He bought them and has given them out by the hundreds. He used it as a springboard to talk about Christ. A stranger would ask, “What does that question mark mean, Dr. Kelly?” He replied, “What is the greatest thing in the world?”


Knowing that they are speaking to a physician, some reply, “Health is the greatest thing.” Others, in answer to the inquiry, say, “Money is the greatest thing.” “No,” Kelly would reply, “the biggest question in the world is this: “What do you think of Jesus?” Then, he would proceed to witness to them about Jesus. He was busy caring for his patients in the hospital but was never too busy to speak a word for Jesus.


Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth.”


 A wealthy woman in Boston was overwhelmed when a complete stranger approached her on the street and, talked to her about Christ and invited her to accept Him as Savior. When she got home, she told her husband what happened, and he said, “Well if I had been there, I would have told him very quickly to go away and be about his business.”


The wife said, “If you had been there and heard him, you would have realized that he was about his business!”


Folks if we have any business in this world, our business in this world is the witnessing business!


It has been said:  “Any man who has a religion is bound to do one of two things with it. He will either change it or he will spread it. If it isn’t true, he must give it up. If it is true, he must give it away.”

In one of his speeches to the soldiers of World War I, General John J. Pershing said: “I have known Jesus Christ now for forty-seven years, and I could not face life without Him. It is no small thing to know that all the past is forgiven and that God's help is available daily.” Then continued the general: “I commend such a Savior to you.” What Pershing did is what we must do.


I Pet. 3:15: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” WITNESS EVERYWHERE.


IV. WONDER NOT

Acts 1:9-11 “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going when suddenly, two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."


The wonder in this verse is that the apostles were standing there in wonder and amazement as Jesus ascended into heaven. And it would be utterly amazing.


One night a wife found her husband standing over their infant’s crib. As she watched him looking down at their very first baby, she saw on his face a mixture of emotions: disbelief, doubt, delight, amazement, enchantment, skepticism. Touched by this unusual display and deep emotions, with eyes glistening, she slipped her arm around her husband. "A penny for your thoughts," she said.


"It’s amazing!" he replied. "I just can’t see how anybody can make a crib like that for only $46.50."


That may be a little silly illustration. But look at what it is saying.


 Some people can’t see the forest for the trees. In that illustration, the new father couldn’t see the wonder of the blessing of a child. Instead, he saw the lack of value in pieces of wood.


Sometimes when you concentrate on the details of a problem, you lose sight of the overall picture; in other words, you focus on the unimportant things rather than on the important things. You miss the big picture.


There are some amazing things in life and one of them had to be watching Jesus ascend back into heaven. Something no one else on earth has experienced. Unimaginable!


But here’s the really amazing thing. Jesus had just told his disciples that they would be His witnesses to the ends of the earth, but here they were, standing in amazement, looking up into the sky.


Suddenly, two men dressed in white, whom we assume to be angels, stood beside them and asked, “What are you doing, standing there looking into the sky?”


It’s like God is saying, “Don’t worry. I’ll be back. Get busy. You have work to do. Let’s get on with the program, my program of reaching the lost.”


It seems there are times when we are often gazing around, looking into the heavens, observing the things around us when we should be serving the Lord!


It’s not that we can’t enjoy God’s wonderful creation, etc., but there’s a time to go to work, and that time is now! And if you think this world is beautiful, just wait till you get to heaven!


Don’t stand there in wonder and amazement. Go to work! Wonder not.


CONCLUSION---------------------


Only one life Twill soon be past.     Only what is done for Christ will last.


We will never go wrong when we live for Christ until our dying day, and our dying words point people to Jesus!

 

 

 

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