Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Acts 1:7 and End-Times Curiosity

[Recently I've seen comments from two of my friends on Facebook re: Harold Camping. One of my friends noted that Camping's group now has a smartphone app, the other friend-- who is a faithful evangelist on the streets here in Louisville-- has been questioned about whether he is part of the "May 21" group. For this reason, I've been thinking about Camping recently, and my thoughts have turned to some specific New Testament passages, including the following words from Jesus.]

He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority." (Acts 1:7 ESV)

In the previous verse the disciples asked Jesus whether it was time for Him to restore the kingdom to Israel. As the New Interpreter's Study Bible (hereafter, NIB) notes: "The disciples' question reflects on expectation of restoration of political autonomy to Israel" (1955).

Jesus does not correct the disciples' expectation that He would restore the kingdom to Israel. He does, however, correct their curiosity concerning the timing of future events. As Luke recorded in his Gospel account, Jesus consistently taught that the end is to be expected and "that Christians must be vigilant for its sudden coming" (NIB 1956; see, for example, Luke 12:38-40, 45-46). In the next verse (Acts 1:8) Jesus expands His disciples' vision so that they are not concentrated solely upon national Israel; instead, they are to spread the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit to all the nations.

From the above consideration we learn that we are not to spend our time inquiring into the chronology of end-time events; aside from the grand hope of Christ's return and the grave warnings concerning gospel enemies and God's wrath against sin, our Father has chosen to keep the details of the future as His own prerogative. Instead, we are to spend our time as gospel witnesses, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to all people, with the knowledge that the Lord may return at any time.

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