“...that I may gain Christ and be found in him...”—Philippians 3:8-9, NIV1984

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Who Will Be His Witnesses?

Jesus ascending to heaven
Jesus’ ascension by John Singleton Copley [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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.”—Acts 1:7-8, NASB
Did Jesus intend this statement only for those who heard the words coming from His mouth, or did He intend these words to be a truth applicable to all believers until His return? I believe it is the latter. The reason is that those in His hearing could not have fulfilled the truth of this statement in one generation. They would have had to teach subsequent followers of Jesus these words. Therefore, this statement still applies to us today. The questions we must ask ourselves: Do we believe we have this same holy-spirit power, and are we using this power to be His witnesses?

If we trust God to give us the strength to live this out, the billions of people who remain in darkness will hear the good news, and Jesus will return. Or we can just pursue a life of comfort and pretend like these people do not exist. The irony of this second way of life is that it is an impossible pursuit. We either push back the darkness with the light of Christ, or the darkness influences us and the consequences of sin, whether our own sin or that of others, rule our own lives. This life of comfort would last only a few generations.