So when they met together, they 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. 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.” (Acts 1:6–11, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Men (and women) of the Church, why do we stand here looking into the sky? Yes, much has happened to heighten the speculation that He “will come back [soon] in the same way [the disciples saw] Him go into heaven.”
The generation that saw Israel restored as a nation in 1948 is passing away. The 20th century, the century of war (and rumors of war) is now twenty years in the past. But we have not come anywhere close to “beating our swords into plowshares.” Sometimes it seems that the only hate that is not a crime is if it’s against Christians. As I mused earlier this past week, many are turning away from the faith. The divisions within our culture are increasing with each passing day. Betrayal and hatred, love growing cold. We seem to be getting closer to how it was in the days of Noah, when “the LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5, NIV 1984).
While we mustn’t be foolish and ignore the signs of the times, we must also not “stand [around] looking into the sky” merely waiting for His return. His coming back is a certainty, but there is much work to be done until He does. In the above text, Jesus had just instructed His disciples to go and be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” until His return.
My Advice – We must go and do likewise.