June 12, 2014
Acts 1:10-11 (in context)
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
We are ten verses into the chapter and **SPOILER ALERT!** they are telling us the end of the story.
I’m going to cut straight to the chase today with a simple question:
Do you believe Jesus is returning to the Earth?
Ok. I’ll go first. I want to believe it and yes I do believe it, but I have to be honest. Sometimes I wonder. It’s just been so long–one thousand, nine hundred and eighty one years to be somewhat precise. Come on Jesus! Almost two thousand years!
And then I remember a text like this one.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 1 Peter 3:8-9.
IF YOU HAVE TIME GET A SECOND CUP OF COFFEE AND COME BACK AND READ THIS WHOLE CHAPTER.
Think about it. In the Lord’s scheme of time and eternity, it’s only been a couple of days since he ascended!
I will close today with an extended (and my favorite) quote from the late, great, “you can call me Clive” Staples Lewis. He had a thing or two to say on this point of the Lord’s return and why we must all reckon with it today.
But we can guess why He is delaying. He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely. I do not suppose you and I would have thought much of a Frenchman who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany and then announced he was on our side. God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realise what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world.
When the author walks on to the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else -something it never entered your head to conceive- comes crasing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left?
For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not.
Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.”
–C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity
So where are you on this?
COME HOLY SPIRIT!
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