Forty Days Between the Tomb and the Ascension. The tragic events of Good Friday did not signal the end of Jesus Christ's ministry to His disciples-far from it. Easter morning was the beginning of a unique and important portion of Jesus' ministry on earth. For the next forty days, until His glorious ascension to heaven, Jesus appeared many times to His disciples. During this precious period, Jesus taught His followers about the requirements of discipleship, His own divine nature, and the power they would soon need to expand the kingdom of God "into all the world" (Mark 16:15). Today, we can experience that same power to accomplish God's work. Even more important, those forty days provide us with the promise of His everlasting presence, for Jesus did not say, "I will be with you," as one who has to go away and come back again, but "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20), as a presence that is never to be withdrawn.
Albert Benjamin Simpson (1843-1919) was born to parents of Scottish descent and grew to become one of the most respected Christian figures in American evangelicalism. A much-sought-after speaker and pastor, Simpson founded a major evangelical denomination, published more than seventy books, edited a weekly magazine for nearly forty years, and wrote many gospel songs and poems. The first few years of his life were spent in relative simplicity on Prince Edward Island, Canada, where his father, an elder in the Presbyterian Church, worked as a shipbuilder and eventually became involved in the export/import industry. To avoid an approaching business depression, the family moved to Ontario, where the younger Simpson accepted Christ as his Savior at age fifteen and was subsequently "called by God to preach" the gospel of Christ. Simpson went on to pastor New York's 13th Street Presbyterian Church. However, in 1881, he resigned and began to hold independent evangelistic meetings in New York City. A year later, the Gospel Tabernacle was built, and Simpson began to turn his vision toward establishing an organization for missions. Simpson helped to form and lead two evangelization societies: The Christian Alliance and The Evangelical Missionary Alliance. As thousands joined these two groups, Simpson sensed a need for the two to become one. In 1897, they became The Christian and Missionary Alliance. Paul Rader, former pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago, once said: "[Simpson] was the greatest heart preacher I ever listened to. He preached out of his own rich dealings with God." On October 28, 1919, Simpson slipped into a coma from which he never recovered. Family members recall that his final words were spoken to God in prayer for all the missionaries he had helped to send throughout the world.
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