Speaking to the Soul – June 3


[Jesus] was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” Acts 1:9-11

The ascension of Jesus brought his ministry on earth to an end in an amazing way. It is not surprising that the disciples looked intently into the sky to see where he had gone. They were probably longing for him to come back down again. As they stood there, they were told that the day will come when Jesus returns in the same way as he left.

The second coming of Jesus should be our confident expectation. It should be constantly in our minds as the most wonderful promise. When I was a small boy, I must confess that I thought of it entirely as a threat. Whenever I couldn’t find my mother in the house, I assumed that Jesus had returned and I’d been left behind. But the fact that Jesus will return is presented to us in the New Testament as a cause for encouragement. It is a reminder that history is in God’s hands and, at the time that he chooses, the curtain will be brought down.

The knowledge that Jesus will return one day should spur us on to ensure that we keep our minds focused on serving the Lord. Jesus told a number of parables to stress the importance of keeping alert all the time because we don’t know precisely when he
will return. The parable of the ten bridesmaids (Matthew 25:1-13) is an encouragement to us all to be fully prepared so that we don’t miss the moment. The parable of the servants (Matthew 25:14-30) reminds us that we need to work really hard with whatever resources we’ve been given. Whether or not Jesus returns during our lifetime is not the point. What matters is that we are always ready.

In what way is your life affected by the fact that Jesus might return today?

Lord Jesus Christ I pray that I will always live in readiness for your return. Amen