– Acts 1:8
Just before Jesus ascended back up into heaven, His disciples asked Him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6)? He told them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority” (Acts 1:7), or basically, “It’s none of your business.” Anytime we start speculating about when Jesus’ return will be, we are getting on a slippery slope. We can know the signs, but truly, no one knows the day or the hour, and I think in God’s wisdom, He thought it best that we didn’t know.
Before Jesus returned to the Father, He told His disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt 28:18), and so when they went to preach the gospel to all nations, they would carry with them Jesus’ own authority. You too have the same authority to go into all the world, even if it’s right next door, so now you have to “Go” (Matt 28:19).
Jesus had the disciples wait in Jerusalem before they went to preach the gospel because they were missing something. They had to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon them, which it would on the Day of Pentecost, therefore, Jesus told them, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8a), meaning they didn’t have that power…yet, but they will!
Jesus told His followers that they are to be salt and light (Matt 5:13-16), so we should be His witnesses by the way we live our lives. If we claim to be a believer, but our lives don’t show it, we might not be saved at all (1st John 3). The Apostle Paul tells us we should examine ourselves to see if we’re really in the faith (2nd Cor 13:5). If we are, then God expects us to get the salt out of the shaker and the light into the darkness.
To All Ends
Now that we have been given Jesus’ authority and the power of the Holy Spirit, and we have become His witnesses, we need to move out of our comfort zone and go into our own “ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8), wherever that might be. For our church, we took our Sunday school class to the city park, we had a Bible study at a local restaurant, and we sent out men two by two to share the gospel on the street. Was it easy? No way, but was it rewarding? Absolutely!
Let us not speculate so much on the day of Jesus’ return (which we can’t know), but rather focus on the fact that we’ve received His authority, His Spirit, and we are His witnesses, to all the ends of the earth, even if it’s at the end of the block. There is no plan B. God is pleased to use weak, frail vessels to proclaim the gospel, and to use us as a means to save some.