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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

Today we continue our series titled “The Living Christ”.

Today we are talking about Until Jesus Comes, Be Witnesses

Prayer

Father, you have invited us to come boldly to Your throne of grace.

We thank You for this glorious privilege.

We come now with hearts of gratitude to offer our gifts to You.

Use them to extend Your kingdom in the hearts of people everywhere.

Grant that we may be faithful in every area of our life, so that through our lives as well as our  gifts, people will come to know Jesus.

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen.

Text

Acts 1:8 AMP

8 But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”

Scripture Reading

Acts 1:6-12 AMP

6 So when they had come together, they asked Him repeatedly, “Lord, are You at this time reestablishing the kingdom and restoring it to Israel?” 

7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority. 

8 But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”

The Ascension

9 And after He said these things, He was caught up as they looked on, and a cloud took Him up out of their sight. 

10 While they were looking intently into the sky as He was going, two men in white clothing suddenly stood beside them, 

11 who said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This [same] Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will return in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

The Upper Room

12 Then the disciples returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet (Olive Grove), which is near Jerusalem, [only] a Sabbath day’s journey (less than one mile) away.

Introduction

Jesus’ earthly ministry was now complete!

He was born of a virgin, lived a blameless life, died a vicarious death, and arose from the grave with a glorified body.

He had been on earth for forty days since His resurrection, Acts 1:3 says

3 To these [men] He also showed Himself alive after His suffering [in Gethsemane and on the cross], by [a series of] many infallible proofs and unquestionable demonstrations, appearing to them over a period of forty days and talking to them about the things concerning the kingdom of God.

He was now ready to return to heaven.

The Mount of Olives, just outside the eastern wall of Jerusalem, served as an ideal location from which to view God’s city of Peace.

Jesus chose it as the place from which to give His final promise to come again and for His ascension into heaven.

The disciples were curious about the future.

When asked about the coming kingdom, Jesus pushed that into the background to give an urgent command to His followers, in that day, and everyday, to be telling the world about the Saviour.

He used the word “witness”, which comes from “martyr.”

In the days of Jesus, and those that followed soon after, to be a Christian witness could mean death.

In certain parts of the world, it is still dangerous to proclaim the message of Christ.

In fact, to be a genuine witness is not easy in any civilisation.

Certain requirements are necessary.

Today let’s have a look at three of them.

  1. A witness must know something.

Go to a courtroom and look at a witness on the stand.

What is the first requirement?

A witness must be certain of the facts, else there is no need for him to appear in court.

If the witness says, when asked a question, “I think” immediately the opposing lawyer will rise and say “I object, Your Honour! We are not interested in what this witness thinks. We’re only interested in what he knows.”

The judge will then sustain the objection.

What is the first qualification for a witness of Jesus Christ?

He or she must know something!

Paul certainly did.

He said in 2 Timothy 1:12 AMP

12 This is why I suffer as I do. Still, I am not ashamed; for I know Him [and I am personally acquainted with Him] whom I have believed [with absolute trust and confidence in Him and in the truth of His deity], and I am persuaded [beyond any doubt] that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day [when I stand before Him].

I read a story of an elderly Christian gentleman who was asked on his eighty sixth birthday how he felt toward the next life now he had reached a ripe age.

He replied, “I have naturally been thinking much about that in recent years. I have stood in the shadow of bereavement many times and sought to comfort sorrowful hearts. Now in my declining days, I can say, I am not half so sure what the future life is as I was forty years ago. But I am twice as sure that is is.”

How true!

As we grow older, the details of heaven, that is, what type of place it will be, are not nearly as important as the certainty we have that, as it says in John 14:2, “Our Father’s house has many rooms.”

We can have a steadfast hope of a home in heaven if we know Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour.

What about your knowledge of the Saviour?

A good witness must know something! 

2. A witness must say something.

Every once in a while we read of a witness coming forward years after a crime who has a testimony that frees a prisoner from jail.

If this person had been a witness at the trial, the prisoner would never have been convicted.

This person knew facts but didn’t tell them!

As a result, the prisoner was convicted unjustly.

To know about Jesus and fail to tell others is criminal!

What if someone knew the remedy for cancer and left it quiet?

No logical argument or persuasive story can turn the world upside down, only the simple testimony that Jesus is Saviour and Lord can do that.

Many stories have been told of tragedies in people’s lives because of undelivered messages.

The greatest tragedy, however, is that many people have never been saved because a Christian failed to speak the right words at the right time.

Our failure to ask someone if they would like to become a Christian may be the only reason that person doesn’t become saved.

Don’t let people miss the greatest opportunity they will ever have because you didn’t ask the question.

Many people never become Christians simply because good people who know Jesus as Saviour and could testify concerning Him simply fail to tell a lost friend about Jesus.

3. A good witness must be something.

A skeptic who was once called the spiritual father of Nazism nearly became a Christian once.

While he was trying to make the decision, he decided to live among Christian people to see what Christians were like.

He is reported to have said, “these Christians will have to look a lot more redeemed before I believe in it.”

Gandhi attended a Christian school and was disillusioned.

He is believed to have said, “I would have been a Christian if it had not been for Christians.”

Of course we cannot always accept at full face value such statements of non Christians as the true reason for their failure to receive Christ.

But there is enough truth in such a indictment to make us examine our way of life.

In the courtroom a witness may know something and say something, but if the opposing lawyer has evidence that the witness is not person of integrity, the lawyer can present the facts to the court and make an impassioned plea to throw out the testimony.

Likewise, all of our evangelising and preaching will be like a clanging cymbal unless our lives are consistent with our testimony.

Conclusion.

The first call is for us to become Christians!

Until we have been born again, we begin at no beginning and work toward no end.

If you are not a Christian, start today, become one today!

Being born again, however, is just the first step of the Christian life.

In the ultimate sense, our Christian experience includes the totality of our relationship and fellowship with Jesus from the moment we receive Him as Saviour until the day we receive our resurrected body at His second coming.

If you are a Christian, be a witness.

Seek to be wise as you testify, but do not fail to let others know, both through lip and life, that Jesus is your all in all.

Many things make us grow, but the fruit of a Christian in the most real sense is another Christian!

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

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