Rather than my normal, “get up out of bed and go to church” post, this morning I am running something from about a year ago, when the then current political crisis of the day was raging. The crises have changed, but the lesson has not.
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
A re run from an earlier post
Before I dive into this post, allow me to say a couple of things. First of all, I may later take some liberties with the application of the above verse. I don’t think I will take them too far, but some might disagree. Second, I know that some of what I may say may make some folks want to come to my house and have a little talk. Well, that’s okay.
I totally understand that our county, and the world around us appears to be descending into chaos, anarchy or even Imperial control. Look around; the issues we face are huge.
Ferguson MO is on fire. Doesn’t matter why in this post, but it is. My opinions on that topic aren’t relevant to this. It is, however, tragic.
We face a monstrous immigration crisis. Once again, my opinion on the topic is irrelevant to this post. But, it is a crisis.
The rise of militant, violent Islam is a security crisis for the world and our country. Once again, any further opinions do not matter.
Our government appears stonewalled, and the only thing happening appears to be executive orders by an extremely unpopular president. Once again, any further opinions on politics do not matter.
All of these things matter, and they matter a lot. Resolving them matters a lot. Please understand I am not saying these things are not important; they are; they are; they are. Got it? Scripture teaches as well, that we have responsibilities to be good citizens; that includes participation in the political process.
So, now let’s take a look at our verse above. Here is the quick background. Read the full story in Acts Chapter 1. Jesus had just completed his post resurrection ministry on Earth and was ascending into Heaven to take His place with His Father. He had clearly discussed with His disciples what they were to do after His Ascension. However, as Jesus disappeared into the clouds, they were just standing there staring, very likely with their mouths hanging open. That is when two angels appeared and issued this somewhat paraphrased rebuke to them, “Hey! Why are you all just standing here staring? Jesus told you He was coming back and He told you what you needed to be up to! Get back to Jerusalem and do what He said!” Okay, that was VERY paraphrased.
So, what had He instructed them? In Acts 1:4, He had instructed them to return to Jerusalem and await the empowering of the Holy Spirit. He elaborated further in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus issued this instruction, “ And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Guess what? Those instructions have never changed, not in the 2000 years since they were issued by our Lord. Rather than staring up at the clouds with our mouths hanging open, we need to be out there getting busy fulfilling the instructions Jesus issued to us.
What, you say, is my point? We spend tons of time, talking and energy on these issues. Once again, let me reiterate that they are important issues. But, are they truly our assigned mission on this Earth? We talk about them, we have opinions about them, we vocalize loudly about them and we post about them on Facebook. What if we took even a small amount of that time, vocalization and energy and used it to share the Gospel with somebody who needed it?
We were all non believers at some point in our lives. How did we act? We probably acted like pagans. After all pagans are going to act like pagans. For us to expect the world to behave differently in anyway is almost nonsensical thinking. What changed us from what we were to what we are hopefully becoming? Of course, the answer is the salvation offered through Jesus Christ and the subsequent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is the only thing that can make us “better.”
Do we want the world to really be different? Share the Gospel with energy and effort. Tell your children and your family will change. Tell your neighbors and your neighborhood will change. Like a pebble in a pond, the ripple can and will spread. Remember in Acts 17:6, when the disciples were referred to as, “those that have turned the world upside down”?
Of course, everyone will never be saved; the world will never be completely restored until God chooses to do that at some point in the future. But when we face him someday, do we want to be able to say we did our best and hear these words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant“?