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“Two Commands and a Promise” Sermon for May 21, 2017

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Published on May 24, 2017

Rev. Charles Svendsen
Scripture: Acts 1:1-11; Matthew 28:16-20

Pastor Charles' Warmup:
On Thursday, May 25th, the global church celebrates Ascension Day of the Lord. We at WPC will be reflecting on two Scriptures surrounding the Ascension story: Acts 1:1-11 and Matthew 28:16-20. From the New Testament perspective, Ascension is an interim time, a period-not unlike Advent-between the promise of Easter and fulfillment at Pentecost. Our sermon is entitled, "Two Commands and a Promise." When Jesus met for the last time with his disciples in Matthew 28, he gave them the Great Commission. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...And remember I am with you always to the end of the age." We will be looking at this two commands of Jesus: to "go" and "to make". How do we go? In whose authority do we go? And how are we today making disciples? By word and example? And finally, Jesus promises his very presence in the church and in our personal lives to the "end of time".
Like Ascension, we at WPC are in a period of transition. Interim months can be challenging but I believe they lead to health, growth and vibrancy.
Come and worship at the traditional service (9:30am) and the contemporary service (11:15am).
See you in church!
Charles Svendsen
Interim Pastor


Acts 1:1-11
In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Matthew 28:16-20
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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