“9 And when [Jesus] had said these things [to the disciples], as they were looking on, [Jesus] was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”” Acts 1:6-11
It’s been nearly 2,000 years since Jesus ascended into the clouds saying good-bye to His disciples. He was going to prepare a place for them (and us) and He promised that He would come back and get them (and us). The disciples thought it was imminent and would occur in their lifetime, so they were constantly looking and asking for the signs of His return as they missed their Lord greatly. We can even read a bit later in the New Testament where there was false teaching going on. Some were saying He had already come back, and those left behind were greatly disturbed, but Paul tried to straighten them out and assure them that He hadn’t come back yet.
- “[Jesus said, “] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:3
- “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”” Revelation 22:7
So, here we are 2,000 years later engulfed in the cares of this life with work, school activities, family events, maintaining our yards, entertainment, technology, education, exercise, social media, and much more. Have we stopped looking for His return? I would have to say that for the most part, the answer is absolutely “yes,” we’ve stopped looking up. Since it’s been such a delay in His return, we’ve gotten distracted by other things and assume that life will continue to go on and on. We have forgotten His words and promise of His return. But, that’s exactly when it is crucial for us to start to look up and wake up from our slumber in this life. Look up, be ready, be repentant, be holy, be focused on the things of God, because if not, we are told that Jesus will come like a thief and not as the blessed hope as He promised those who are looking and waiting.
“13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” 2 Timothy 2:13
- “Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.” Revelation 3:3
- “35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”” Luke 12:35-40
- “45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know 51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:45-51
- ” 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”).” Revelation 16:15
- “11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” 2 Timothy 2:11-15
Father, we pray for all around the world who have gone to sleep while waiting for your arrival. Wake them up to the possibility of your imminent return. Keep us all focused on looking up, staying pure, and doing your will. We thank you for the promise of your return, we believe your promise, and we ask you to keep us awake and ready for your perfect timing. In Jesus’ name. Amen.