What are we waiting for?
Acts 1 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
15 At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said, 16 “Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 19 And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the book of Psalms,
‘Let his homestead be made desolate, And let no one dwell in it’;
and, ‘Let another man take his office.’
21 Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us— 22 beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” 23 So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen 25 to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.
Today’s text says: Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” We are living in a time when many people are trying to determine if this is the time when Jesus will come and restore His kingdom. The answer is still the same, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority.” In Matthew 24:4-14; 32-36 Jesus says: “Take heed that no one deceives you.Formany will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’and will deceive many.You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come… Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that [e]it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away’. Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” It is not for us to know the day or the hour, but it is good for us to discern the times and seasons. Surely, we are hearing of wars around the world and more than ever, the media has been spreading the rumors of wars. How many times have we heard the threats that this will trigger the next war with Russia, China, North Korea, Iran… Surely, we are seeing nations rising against nations. That is ethnos against ethnos. These are the inter-tribal wars, the ethnic wars and the racial wars within countries and regions, all around the world. Over these last few days, the flames of racial division are being fanned and stoked by many; again by the media, by some people unknowingly with good intentions and by others for the purpose of evil. Surely lawlessness is increasing and the love of many is growing cold. It is possible that we are in that time when this generation will not pass away till these things take place.
What are we to do? We are to take heed that we are not deceived. We cannot trust the media to tell us the truth. We must trust God and the Holy Spirit. We are to endure to the end. Our endurance though is not that we stock up and hunker down. Jesus says we are to: “Receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth,” because “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” We do not need to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit. It has been given and is available each day and each moment of every day. So, what are we waiting for?
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit, for wisdom and power; for protection, Your provision and for Your love. In this season may I walk in the fulness of Your power and plan. May Your kingdom come, may Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.