C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR AUGUST 20, 2023 : LESSON 6: TOPIC – JESUS’ ASCENSION, ABIDING INTERCESSION AND SECOND COMING
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH Nigeria & Overseas
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
THEME: UNDERSTANDING OUR APOSTOLIC FOUNDATION
JULY – DECEMBER 2023
UNIT ONE: THE TRIUNE GOD COMES TO REDEEM US
20TH AUGUST 2023
TOPIC: JESUS’ ASCENSION, ABIDING INTERCESSION AND SECOND COMING
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).
The way Jesus ascended gloriously into the heavens, He shall return soonest to gloriously reign on Earth. Follow His leading from now till eternity!
A mediator is either “somebody who works with both sides in a dispute in an attempt to help them to reach an agreement” or “a substance that acts as a medium in transferring something from one place to another in the body,” according to the Microsoft Encarta. Of course, there had been a dispute between God and man, occasioned by the disobedience of the highly divinely favoured man to the loving God (Gen. 3:1ff). It has since become so difficult for man to return to God since God never associates with sin. Yet, God still loves man and wants fellowship back with him. There is therefore the need for someone to mediate, i.e. achieve a solution or settlement by working with both sides (divine and human) in this dispute. There is no man who could have done that. After all, man (in the generic sense) had become so depraved and unworthy (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). The All-knowing, loving God who can never be caught unawares unfolded His eternal redemptive plan (cf. Rev. 13:8) that His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, would be the only Mediator between Him and man to settle the dispute, once and for all. He has come and settled this by His atoning sacrifice, glorious ascension and vicarious intercession in the Father’s presence (1 Cor. 15:57).
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE READINGS
Mon. 14: The Ascended Lord Intercedes For Us (Heb. 7:25)
Tue. 15: The Lord Is Coming Back (Matt. 24:3-14)
Wed. 16: The Lord Shall Come Unexpectedly (Matt. 24:29-44)
Thur. 17: The Lord Would Return: Beware (Matt. 25:1-13)
Fri. 18: The Lord Would Judge The Nations (Matt. 25:31-46)
Sat. 19: The Devil Would Be Humiliated (Rev. 20:1,7-10)
1. Every true Christian believes that our risen and ascended Lord is seated at our Father’s right hand, interceding for us, and is returning to judge the earth and reign aright.
2. This behoves us to behave aright by comporting ourselves within the confines of His Word and will.
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURE: Numbers 24:17
AIM AND OBJECTIVES:
AIM: To help learners better understand the truth about Jesus’ ascension, present assignment in heaven and imminent return to earth.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of this lesson, it is expected that the learners should be able to:
i. explain CAC’s belief on Christ’s second coming and millennial reign on earth;
ii. explain the mode of Jesus’ ascension; and
iii. discuss the need for Jesus’ intercession in heaven and His second coming.
TEXTUAL SOURCE: LUKE 24:50-52; ACTS 1:9-11; EPHESIANS 1:15-23; 1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-18; REVELATION 1:7; 19:1FF; 20:1FF
Last week, we started discussions on the 3rd tenet of our Church. We must have better understood that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life and died
an atoning death on the Cross for our redemption. We are also better informed about His glorious resurrection that guarantees our own resurrection and victory over death. These should deepen and strengthen our faith in Christ.
Today’s lesson takes care of the second part of our third tenet. In line with the Scripture, Christ Apostolic Church believes that after our Lord Jesus rose from the dead on the 3rd day, He ascended into the heavens, seated at the right hand of His Father and interceding for us. We also believe that He would return soonest to judge the world, reign for 1000 years and reign eternally with His saints. Every true Christian must know and believe these, because without the resurrection, our faith is meaningless. May the Holy Spirit help us to anchor our faith on these eternal truths, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION:
This lesson has two divisions. The first division: CHRIST’S ASCENSION AND ABIDING INTERCESSION, establishes the fact that having perfectly completed His work here on earth, Jesus went back to heaven where He continues to intercede for the saints, in order to render our accuser’s efforts fruitless. Division II harps on CHRIST’S SECOND COMING AND MILLENNIAL REIGN. It highlights the events leading to, and Jesus’ actual second coming. It also discusses His one-thousand-year reign on earth.
I. CHRIST’S ASCENSION AND ABIDING INTERCESSION
II. CHRIST’S SECOND COMING AND MILLENNIAL REIGN
I. CHRIST’S ASCENSION AND ABIDING INTERCESSION (Lk. 24:50-52; Acts. 1:9-11; Eph. 1:15-23)
Which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:20).
a) We believe according to the Scripture that our Lord Jesus Christ, after His resurrection, ascended into the heavens (Lk. 24:50-52). While He blessed His disciples at Bethany, He ascended in their presence into the heavens. (cf. 2 Kgs. 2:11,12).
b) Acts 1:9-11: As if watching a cinema, Jesus’ disciples looked on as He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight (v. 9). An angelic confirmation of His inexorable return in the same manner followed.
c) Eph. 1:15-23: Jesus must return to the Father for our sake. He would send the Comforter (Jn. 16:7,8) and go into His abiding intercession for us (Rom. 8:34; Eph. 2:5-6; Heb. 7:25).
d) But for this, no one would be free from the Accuser of the brethren (1 Jn. 2:1-2; cf. Rev. 12:10).
e) Jesus’ enemies thought that they could harness the power of death to silence Him, but instead, God used His death to demonstrate that His power is even greater than that of death and to exalt Him. God has made the accuser subject to Jesus since He has made Him the Supreme Ruler and Sovereign Lord (cf. Phil. 2:9-11).
II. CHRIST’S SECOND COMING AND MILLENNIAL REIGN (1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 1:7; 19:1ff; 20:1ff)
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen (Rev. 1:7).
a) Promises abound regarding Christ’s Second Coming (Mal. 3:3-4; Matt. 24:3, 29-31; Acts 1:10-11). Expectedly, there would be scoffers (2 Pet. 3:3-5). No true believer joins them, given their horrible end. Christ’s ascension and Second Coming are for the believers’ good (Jn. 14:1-3).
b) 1 Thess. 4:13-18: Christ will soon return from heaven with an unmistakable shout (v. 16) to take His saints to Himself (Jn. 14:1-3)- His ‘Second Coming (Grk. Parousia: advent) to judge the world.
c) vv. 16,17: In this phase of His Second Coming, Jesus will stop in the sky and be joined by the raptured saints-the Rapture. You cannot afford to miss it (Rev. 20:6).
d) Rev. 19:1-10: Then, the marriage of the Lamb would hold, where Jesus, the Groom, would gloriously consummate wedding with His bride, the saints. Don’t miss it. e) 20:1ff: After this, comes Christ’s Millennial Reign. It is a period of 1000 years, when Christ, the Prince of Peace, would reign on earth.
f) v.4: His raptured saints would be privileged to reign and judge with Him on earth for 1000 years. By then, Satan would have been incarcerated.
g) Christ’s return and His eternal rule over the earth is certain and imminent. The certainty that we will one day be with the Lord forever is the ultimate Christian hope and a source of comfort for us.
1. It is important that Jesus ascended, for the coming of the Holy Spirit and Christ’s abiding intercession for us.
2. Jesus will soon appear in the sky with loud shout to rapture the saints and establish His Millennial Reign. Don’t be left out!
1. Why do we need Jesus to be interceding for us, after all He had done for us? 2. Discuss the belief of Christ Apostolic Church on Christ’s Second Coming and Millennial Reign on earth.
SUGGESTED ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS:
ANSWER TO QUESTION 1:
• Refer to division I above.
* Even after our salvation, we are still putting on our mortal bodies, hence we are prone to sin.
• To strengthen us in the face of challenges, temptations and sin.
* To shut the mouth of the accuser.
* That we might make it home at the end.
ANSWER TO QUESTION 2:
* Refer to division II above.
* That Jesus rose from the dead on the third day.
* He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us.
* He would return some day to judge the world.
* And would reign for a thousand years on this earth.
While Jesus ascended, two angels came and gave words of profound importance to the disciples. They were reassured that they had nothing to worry about since Jesus was to come back, and they would see Him just as they had seen Him go into heaven. The same assurance is our portion as we await the coming of the Lord. Let us keep ourselves blameless, spotless and without blemish as we earnestly await His return (cf. Jude 1:21).
Glory to God in the highest, for bringing us to the conclusion of lesson six, which discusses the ascension, intercession and second coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. May we be ever ready to meet Him at His appearing, even as we abide in/by His Words. Amen.