If Christ had not Ascended to Heaven


God has gone up with a shout Lord with

the sound of the ram’s horn sing praises
to God sing praises sing praises to our
king saying praises in the name of the
Father and of the Son and the Holy
Spirit amen please be seated
it’s wonderful to be in such a place in
such a time as this because the
timelessness of our Lord and Savior
Jesus overshadows all our cares and all
our thoughts and it’s his glory that
shines above it all and I am honored to
be here in his house today this is
technically seven Easter because it’s
the Sunday in the calendar but our
worship time today
we will focus on the Feast of the
Ascension which was actually last
Thursday being 40 days after the
resurrection but the gospel readings for
70 Esther and for the Ascension they
complete as a picture so why do we take
an Easter Sunday and supplant it with a
feast of last Thursday the Ascension why
do we pay so much attention to the
Ascension well plainly brothers and
sisters it’s because the Ascension of
Christ is arguably one of the most
pivotal moments in his ministry here on
earth one of the most important things
we need to observe we have many
Christian brothers and sisters who
assign primacy
to certain milestones right in Chris
Christ’s ministry as described in the
Gospels many of our Christian brothers
and sisters they emphasize the
Incarnation I the birth of Christ and
they posit that the taking on of human
flesh by Jesus united heaven and earth
and that through his humility as being
born as a little baby set the tone for
his gospel ministry and you know they’re
other Christians focus upon his passion
and his death upon the cross because the
law states that the penalty for sin
against the father the righteous God is
death and Jesus upon the cross he paid
the substitutionary penalty for us as
the Lamb of God without blemish he paid
they say the ransom that we could not
pay and they are right to still other
Christians they revel in the glory of
Jesus when he rose from the dead on the
third day defeating death they say that
in the resurrection all the promises of
God are fulfilled for his people death
is conquered we are free Christ has won
the victory that sounds right – doesn’t
it and there are Christians today who
have their entire identity in the end
selling of the Holy Spirit and this is
associated with the Feast of Pentecost
next week this commission was given by
Christ himself and the church was born
and power Dunamis the Greek word was
given to conquer the world right again
Christians so what about the Ascension
are there any essentialists up there
among you where does the Ascension this
shining moment fit in well you know it
started back in Lent with the gospel
readings remember the account of the man
who was born blind do you remember that
how that man served as an example for
Jesus how that man was sent to the pool
of Siloam to be a picture of Jesus who
was sent into the world to do the work
that the father had given him to do just
as Jesus was sent to the Father to do
certain marvelous works that only the
son of God could do these things these
miracles these healings sufferings dying
for our transgressions rising from the
dead Jesus was sent and in my small in
really compact mortal mind I picture a
heavenly meeting from all eternity with
the Godhead sitting there having a
heavenly conversation
that Jesus would be sent to do these
works these works that Jesus himself
described as the work that my father has
given me to do well after the
resurrection after his incarnation after
his sinless life after his passion his
bloody death after spending time in the
Stone Cold’s tomb and after rising from
the dead his work was darden Jesus
alludes to this in the gospel from 7
Easter when he says father I glorified
you on earth having accomplished the
work you have given me to do so in a
gospel nutshell Jesus was born to die he
died to pay the price for the sins of
mankind against a thrice holy father and
though he died death had no power over
him so he rose from the grave
many many people saw him and they were
empowered to tell the whole world what
they saw when he sent his spirit upon
him this was the work that the father
had sent him to do so at this point now
there they are on that Holy Hill in
Bethany having fulfilled his mission
here upon the earth Jesus left it and
why is this significant why is this such
a big deal why do we
fail to understand how important the
ascension is well let’s look at it this
brothers and sisters what if he had not
ascended what if that didn’t happen
first if Jesus had not ascended he would
have not received glory from the father
who deserves glory more than Jesus
Christ for what he did this is vitally
important because you know it proves
Christ’s divinity God the Father would
not honor and glorify anyone and ask him
to sit at his what sit at his right hand
in glory unless he Jesus was indeed the
Son of God the second person of the
Trinity right he had not ascended he
would not have received glory all things
would not have been given into the hand
of Christ he would not have reigned as
he does now as the king of heaven and
the Incarnation would be left without
fruition secondly if Jesus had not
ascended well we believe as the church
fathers believed and as we confess in
the beginning of our thirty-nine
articles of religion that Christ did
truly rise again from the dead and took
again his body with flesh bones and all
things a pertaining to the perfection of
man’s nature wherefore he ascended into
heaven and there sitteth until he
returned to judge all men on the last
see Jesus said didn’t he I go to what
prepare a place right for you I go to
prepare a place for you if Jesus had not
ascended he could not have kept that
promise we therefore would not be
assured of the forgiveness of sins
nor we would he would be would we be
assured of everlasting life in him nor
the Hulk of glorified bodies one day
where there’s no pain no sorrow no no
tears nor would we be able to be
sanctified so that we may stand in the
presence of a thrice holy God see Jesus
he’s the firstborn firstborn of all the
saints that means he leads the way he
was the first one into heaven to have
been born on earth
he opened heaven’s door to the communion
of saints and who’s that if it’s not you
and I he’s proof of the promise of
eternal life a presence Sola Deo Gloria
coram Deo
in the face of God and how could that
have happen if he had not assented
lastly jesus said if I do not go away I
cannot send the helper who’s the helper
the Holy Spirit you’ve got that right
and this is vitally important today
because in God’s economy which is the
only economy that counts our economy
doesn’t count Chinese economy doesn’t
the fed’s economy doesn’t count
God’s economy counts and in God’s
economy it would be the church the
Church of the capital C with the aid of
the Holy Spirit that will do the heavy
lifting for the next two thousand years
so far so far it’s the church’s duty and
charge to evangelize to show Christ to
the world why because this always been
God’s plan for mankind to be fruitful
and multiply heard that one before
be fruitful and multiply how far back
does that go in the Bible but that
doesn’t only pertain to physical
procreation does it no we know better
than that
ultimately it means spiritual
procreation the multiplication of the
sons and daughters of the Almighty
living God and it is and it has always
been about the glory of God it’s always
been about the glory of God if you want
to understand Scripture look for the
glory of God sometimes we study so
intently the Bible that we failed to see
that is about the glory of God God is
glorified then when through obedience
and faith his creation accepts his love
that glorifies God you see how Jesus did
it but you see you know today we’re not
naturally inclined to this we think
about ourselves with selfish we’re
rebellious so we need to be taught we
need to be trained up in all discipline
wisdom and mercy
but you know it’s been the family unit
this family unit that has been by far
the most successful entity in this
regard is training up in faith it’s been
the most successful method in history
why well maybe because God’s ordained it
and we rightly see that the church is a
family we call it a family don’t we it’s
a my church family why because the
church has her job as nurturing as
teaching and training up in the faith
and the church beloved is marked by the
presence of the Holy Spirit who is the
helper that’s how it works
God’s economy the family teaches faith
that is not natural to us the Holy
Spirit indwells the church to teach her
in all righteousness so what if Christ
had not ascended then the Holy Spirit
would not have been showered upon the
church would and timid hearts would not
have been emboldened as we see in Acts
of the Apostles faith who did not then
strengthened over the ages the word
would not have been spread to the
corners of the earth
tyranny would have been left unopposed
science would not have progressed
hospitals would not have been developed
and used for the poor education would
have remained the domain of the elite
only women would have remained
second-class citizens and slavery would
be acceptable to this day the dignity
brothers and sisters of all human beings
from the greatest to the least would
never have
and realized without the effect of the
holy spirit upon this earth you know
that this idea of individual progress
that the individual can be lifted up did
not exist before the Renaissance it was
a renaissance thinker his name let me
try this Pico della Mirandola that’s
pretty good huh Pico della Mirandola his
essay called the oration on the dignity
of man he describes his theory that he
got from Scripture somehow that God is
pleased by the progress of the human
individual there was new thought for
those days the individual could be
lifted up the individual had dignity
where else have you heard that accepting
scripture from the mouths of my Savior
Jesus so this Renaissance progression of
human thought was less a chance
happening I believe and less natural
evolution and more the influence of a
loving and gracious God whose Holy
Spirit indwells the hearts and
influenced the minds of mankind that’s a
testament to the work of the Holy Spirit
because brothers and sisters this whole
world according to physics is winding
down it loses momentum it falls apart it
decays yet there’s always a new day
there’s always refreshment of the human
race there’s always hope for tomorrow
and there’s always an upward call and
that’s the testament to the life and the
presence of the holy spirit on this
earth today and Jesus wouldn’t have sent
him if he did not ascend to heaven
so today we lift our hand we sing
praises as the psalmist said they glory
to God for the ascension into heaven of
his well beloved son Jesus because
without it his ministry here on earth
would have been limited to only a few
instead over the ages billions have come
to saving faith in Him
aren’t you and I one of them and who
knows but the father himself how many
more there will be so as the gospel says
they worshiped him and they returned to
Jerusalem the holy hill with great joy
no longer lamenting is lost but with
great joy and they were continually in
the temple praising God so brothers and
sisters let’s lift our hearts today in
our voices and endless joy and
Thanksgiving like those who actually saw
Jesus ascent and lordose revel in the
glory of his ascension in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Spirit amen

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