In the days of Christmas anticipation and then realized, we have remembered together how God spoke through prophets, angels, creation and ancestry. He spoke to a young Jewish maiden, a simple Nazarene man, to shepherds and wise men. And certainly, God has spoken to us over years and years, across continents and cultures in various ways. God yet speaks today through the divinely-inspired pages of Scripture.
Again I say to you: if I were to tell you that tomorrow at 2 pm at a well-known place in your town, God was going to be there to speak to you, you. would. go. So, based on that, what are some of the other things God has spoken that you need to know--especially for your future? After all, if he spoke the details of the Savior's birth some 700 years before it happened, and then it took place just as he said... what else has he said will happen that you must know?
Step a little closer please. Oh, I wish I could take you with me to the Upper Room in Jerusalem... yes, it is still there! On the same night Jesus was sharing the Passover meal with his disciples in that big old room, (the night he would later be arrested and illegally imprisoned), He told his friends he would be leaving them. And where he was going, they could not come.
But on that night Jesus also told them, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.1.
Also recorded by Matthew, "They will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory."2.
Paul described it further, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord."3 Okay, I love these last verses, written to the Thessalonians and often called 'the blessed hope,' because that is what 'the Rapture' represents to followers of Jesus--blessed hope! [Those left behind will not want to be; the seven years to follow will make the pandemic look like a cake walk.]
Jesus did indeed leave them, ascending into the clouds some 40 days after he walked out of the grave. They watched him go from atop the Mt. of Olives. Once again, Jesus told them what he was going to do, and then he did it. Here is Luke's brief accounting of what happened: ...he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”4
The same way? Yes, Jesus ascended into the clouds and so he will return.
It is a promise. With God, his prophecies are fulfilled and his promises kept.
Sometimes when I am driving down the highway, taking in the majesty of the cloud formations above, I think . . . “Today, Lord? Is this the day you will return?” Jesus told us to be ready because in the hour we least expect it, he will come again.5
Hmmm, what do you think the clouds will look like on that day Jesus comes again? I would like to put my request in for those well-formed grayish clouds, outlined on the top with what looks like liquid silver against an amber glow, and the sun's rays shooting out behind them like the ones pictured above. How magnificent! Hmmm, do you think we'll be able to see the trumpet or just hear it? Think of that day, because it is coming. I can only imagine . . . !
God has spoken--he is coming again.
Funny, the song that came to mind... can it be 40 years ago she sang it? Wow. 40.
'In a Little While' - Amy Grant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbTstgZLntA
the song - regular life, and then Jesus reminds us he will be here in a little while.
1 - John 14.3
2 - Matthew 24.30
3 - 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17
4 - Acts 1.9b-11
5 - Matthew 24.44; Luke 12.40
North Carolina Fall sky below: