“Then they gathered around him and asked him,
‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’
He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know
the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes,
and a cloud hid him from their sight.”
Acts 1:6-9 (NIV)
A hotly debated subject among Christians concerns the second coming of Christ and when certain events will occur. Also, every generation of Christians has had many believers asserting the coming would be in their day. One cult taught that Jesus would come in 1914. When He did not come, they said it was an invisible coming that occurred. Then they prophesied that in 1925 Armageddon would happen, but it didn’t. Another date for when the end would come they said, was 1975, but again they struck out.
Just prior to the Lord’s ascension the disciples eagerly asked Him if He was about to set up His earthly kingdom with Israel at its center. So, we see that the Lord’s people from the first generation on have been overly concerned about the second coming.
Jesus bluntly responded to the disciples’ question and told them that it was not their business to know when the end would come. He told them that instead their business was to focus on the present and its responsibilities. Specifically, He told them that when the Holy Spirit would come on them with power, they were to be His witnesses throughout the entire world. So, testifying to the work of Christ should be front and center for all of us and we need to assist others elsewhere to do the same i.e., missionaries.
Have you been the type of Christian who lets musing on the second coming distract you from getting on with the work of today? Have you neglected responsibilities you have today in order to read the latest book on possible details on the second coming? My dear believer may you be encouraged to do your Master’s will in the present in order that in the future you will be able to hear that wonderful salutation from your Master, “Well done good and faithful servant…”
A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.
To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill:
Oh, may it all my pow’rs engage
To do my Master’s will!
Arm me with jealous care,
As in Your sight to live;
And O Your servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give!
– Charles Wesley