Christ's Kingdom Comes! Acts 1:1-11

Series: Easter Epistles 2024

May 14, 2024
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

The Kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayers, but we pray in this petition that it may come among us also. Jesus of Nazareth's ascension and enthronement is not to escape from us, but to be with us always as True God/True Man in His Church as He has promised. He has not left us orphans He is present in His Church by His Spirit through His Word and Sacraments. Sermon Theme: "Christ's Kingdom Comes!" Sermon Text: Acts 1:1-11 preached for Ascension Eve, 8-May-2024, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, LCMS, Tell City, Indiana by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

Episode Notes

The Ascension of Our Lord (Eve)                             8-May-2024
Sermon Text: Acts 1:1-11
Sermon Theme: Christ’s Kingdom Comes! I. Crucified King Jesus Lives! (Vs.1-3) II. The Father Through His Son Sends Forth His Spirit! (vs.4-5). III. Christ’s Kingdom Advances Triumphantly Through the Spirit By the Message of the Cross! (Vs.6-8) IV. Our Brother King Jesus Ascends To Prepare Our Place Protecting Us Until He Comes Again Visibly!(vs.9-11)By Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

I.N.R.I. When you pray say, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” King Jesus puts His Words into our mouth. His Word is Truth. Satan the father of lies is driven away as we pray King Jesus’ Word.
     The devil promised our first father Adam a worldly kingdom. All humanity descended from Adam and his wife’s marriage. To claim the devil’s promised kingdom and power - all our first parents had to do was ignore their Creator’s life sustaining Word. Satan tempted the woman and her husband standing by her side, to trust in what they saw, felt, desired, and thought. History records, Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Instead of becoming like God, their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked and ashamed. Satan had murdered them spiritually innocence was lost. Disconnected from the Lord and Giver of Life their now corrupt bodies began the slow process of dying. Creation was corrupted through Adam’s rebellion - Satan rejoiced to establish his worldly kingdom of lies, death, shame, guilt, power, and death.  
      Clothed with fig leaf clothing our first parents deceived themselves that they were free - autonomous from their Creator God - and from their marriage to one another. Autonomy to run with the devil following their own corrupt lusts and desires.
      Broken hearted the Only True King of Creation sought His lost sheep - calling them as He preached calling to Adam, “Where are you?” Adam blamed the King’s voice for making him afraid of being naked and trying to hide camouflaged with Satan the serpent. When the King asked our first father who informed him of being naked - he quickly pointed the finger of blame away from himself: Genesis 3:12 Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." It was God’s fault - the woman’s fault - NOT ME! His wife shifted the blame also upon the Serpent’s deception.
      The King of Creation would not surrender His kingdom to the fallen evil angel Satan. He declares war - promises to become the Champion - the Head Crusher to win back mankind and His creation from all sin, from death, and from the power of the devil.
     Rejoice! His promise is fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. Behold as the God/Man ascends on high: Christ’s Kingdom Comes! I. Crucified King Jesus Lives! (Vs.1-3) II. The Father Through His Son Sends Forth His Spirit! (vs.4-5). III. Christ’s Kingdom Advances Triumphantly Through the Spirit By the Message of the Cross! (Vs.6-8) IV. Our Brother King Jesus Ascends To Prepare Our Place Protecting Us Until He Comes Again Visibly!(vs.9-11)
I.  The wages of sin is death. The lie of the myth of macro evolution is that death over billions of years brought forth advanced life. One of the base laws of biology, discovered by the devout Christian and life long student of the Holy Bible - Louis Pasteur, is the “law of biogenesis.” Simply put: “Life only comes from life, not from non living matter.” No matter how you ignore the reality of sin - you will die. God the Holy Spirit preaches through St. Paul, Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—”
   The King of Creation has reclaimed His Kingdom! How? Hear the Spirit of Truth: Romans 5:15-19 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. (16) And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. (17) For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) (18) Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. (19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.”
       St. Luke, medical doctor and well researched historian, records: (vs.1-3) The former account is the Gospel of Luke in which he echos the Gospel preached by St. Paul and verified by eyewitnesses. Read, study, research this historical record of all that Jesus did and taught from His conception by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary to the day of His heavenly coronation as the God/Man for us! Crucified on Good Friday mocked as the King of the Jews with a crown of thorns. He surrendered Himself into our death earned by our sin. Three days later He physically rose in His body from the dead, bearing the wounds of our redemption. For 40 days He appeared to over 513 faithful followers. He showed Himself alive by infallible proofs. They touched His hands and the placed their fingers the nail wounds. They thrust their hands into the spear wound the side of His living breathing body. He ate and drank with them. He taught them beginning with Moses in Genesis, through the prophets, and Psalms all that was written concerning Him and His kingdom. Without a doubt Crucified King Jesus Lives! He is risen in our flesh and will never die again! His resurrection is our victory over death and the grave- He is our Brother Redeemer- by His holy precious blood and innocent suffering and death we are purchase and won from all sin, from death, and from the power of the devil. We belong again to our loving King of Creation!
II.  King Jesus rules through the Spirit of Truth! Satan is the spirit of the anti-christ - denying that the eternally only begotten Son of God has taken our flesh into Himself to be our Brother. St. John warns , 1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (2) By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, (3) and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
       What is the nature of Christ’s Kingdom and rule in this world? (Vs.4-5) “My kingdom is not of this world!” Jesus testified when tried by Pontius Pilate. Listen how King Jesus’ kingdom comes! John 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Hear King Jesus’ voice in His written Word - recorded by the Spirit of Truth - through the hands of the Apostles - eyewitnesses of the King’s ministry
John had baptized them with water, testifying that soon the Messianic King would come to baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire. They were to remain in the city that had crucified the King -for He had triumphed! In ten days King Jesus enthroned at the Father’s right hand would pour out the Holy Spirit upon them to birth the Church for all nations through infant baptism and the preaching of the Gospel. The Father through His only begotten Son sends forth the Holy Spirit to reconcile us sinners to Himself. Find the Word of God taught in its truth and purity and the Sacraments administered according to Christ’s command - and you are found by the Father in His Son’s Kingdom washed forgiven and made alive by the Holy Spirit.
III.  Satan promises us a kingdom we can see and a cross that remains hidden. King Jesus promises us a cross we can see and a kingdom that is now hidden. If you would follow King Jesus you are called to daily take up your cross and follow Him. He leads you, as a Shepherd, leads his sheep calling your by name. Listen for His voice in His Word and follow!

     How can we hear Jesus’ voice? (Vs. 6-8) The disciples still wanted an earthly kingdom in which Israel was restored to power to rule over the world. This lie is still trumpeted by millenialists. The True Zion/Israel is the Holy Christian Church. It’s power is Christ’s Word! 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, (5) casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” Armored by the Holy Spirit in Christ by baptism we stand witnessing of Jesus - by the witness of the Apostles!
       The Apostles’ Creed is the very heart and center of King Jesus’ teaching. It is the true picture of reality. The apostles would be gifted by the Holy Spirit with total recall to preach all that Jesus did and said to win our salvation. Don’t fall prey to time setters who instead of proclaiming King Jesus talk of their endless calculations of when He will return. The Gospel, not your guesses, alone is the power to save fellow sinners. Witness to the ends of the earth by speaking Jesus’ Words to all!
IV.  Luke records: (vs.9) During those 40 days after His resurrection Jesus appeared and disappeared His glorified human body no longer bound by space and time. Now He rises to heaven in plain view - He was ascended to His Father as True Man and True God. He ascends to be with us always where He promises to be present in His Church through His Word, in baptism, absolution, preaching, teaching us to pray, and the Sacrament of the Altar. Paul preaches Ephesians 4:8-12 Therefore He says: "WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE, AND GAVE GIFTS TO MEN." (9) (Now this, "HE ASCENDED"—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? (10) He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) (11) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, (12) for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,...” King Jesus rules all creation through His Word protecting His Church as His Bride proclaims the Gospel.
       What are we to do? (Vs.10-11) On the night King Jesus surrendered Himself to be sacrificed for us - the Lamb of God taking away the sins fo the world. He promised - He would return to His Father’s House to prepare our rooms - He promised He would return visibly on the Last Day to take us Home. King Jesus still labors for you in heaven - interceding for you. Preparing your place. He is with you on this earth protecting you in His Kingdom of Grace with daily rich forgiveness as the Holy Spirit comforts you - even in death. We don’t make Jesus’ Kingdom come - it comes! How? God's kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity. Amen.

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