And he said unto them, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 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 Judea, and in Samaria,, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 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. Acts 1:7-10
The disciples were wondering, since the Lord had risen from the dead, if He would restore Israel’s kingdom, now that He returned from the dead?
When they therefore were come together they asked of him, saying Lord wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? Acts 1:6
Jesus then tells them that times and seasons are in God’s power, and it is not for them to know, but that the Holy Spirit would come, and they would be witnesses for Christ, even to the ends of the earth.
Then an amazing thing happens,– Jesus is taken up into heaven before their very eyes! He rises up into the clouds, where their view becomes obscured.
Another amazing thing distracts them, when two men dressed in white apparel, ask them why they are looking up into heaven? These men try to console the disciples with the comforting words that Jesus will return to the earth in this same way.
They had this glorious experience of seeing Jesus rise up to heaven, and now they needed to look forward to working as Christ’s ambassadors, preaching the gospel to all the world.
God is so good! Just as He provided a rainbow after the flood, with a promise to never destroy the earth with a flood again, He allowed the disciples to see this glorious experience, and told them of the work they were to do while they were on earth.They had a promise that He would return.
If we search the scriptures, God tells us what to expect and what to do also. He gives us the same job, of witnessing to all the earth, of being ambassadors for Jesus until He returns! We are to spread the gospel, and guard the faith that what we have.
Dear God, You know that we have questions about things to come, just as the disciples did. Thank You for the wisdom we can find in the scriptures, and for the Holy Spirit to help us. Everything is in Your capable hands, even the right time for Your return. That no man knows exactly when that will be, is a good thing. We need to be diligent with the work You gave us, because You could return at any time. Amen.
How Great the Joy!
With great glory that lit the darkest night,
To shepherds appeared angels who sang with great delight!
Trumpets and harps,–shepherds quaking with fear!
Good News!–A Savior’s born, to save men everywhere!
How great the joy–a sinner’s heart cannot contain!
When sins are forgiven, all washed, made new, and born again!