Google+ 02/05/13 Is Our Salvation Near?

Luke 21:25-28

 

“And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars.

And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.

People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory.

So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” 

 

Do we spend much time looking up?  Do we spend much time looking out?  These are two very important questions that our Scripture answers, in a very different way.  As we jump into our Scripture today, let's explore something together.  How do we know our Salvation is near?  When and where did you first hear about Jesus?  Who told you?  Stating the obvious, your salvation is not near if you don't know about Jesus.  Much like the miracle at the manger, all of us being transformed into missionaries every day is a fascinating way to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed.  God could have just put the knowledge of His Son in all of our hearts.  Wouldn't it have been more dependable for all of us, if God gave us the Gospel Message directly, and we didn't have to count on anyone else?  Our Scripture tells us that lots of people in our world, that never look up or out, with be in turmoil and perplexed by roaring seas and strange tides upon Jesus' arrival.  In our 21st century language today, people will actually say, "What's that noise?!"  Luke actually tells us that many people are going to be terrified by what they see coming to earth.  Do you mean that a large part of our world will not be excited when Jesus comes back, but they will be frightened?  Yes, that is exactly what our Scripture says today.  How could this be?  Here comes the answer and it is not pretty.  The last thing that Jesus said to all of us before He ascended into heaven, was that He was going to prepare a place for us with His Father in Heaven.  But who was Jesus speaking to on the day of Ascension?  According to Luke, who is the same author as the book of Acts, Jesus was speaking to about 120 people.  That's all?  Out of the thousands that could have been there?  Yes, and Jesus knows it.  Remember, Jesus tells the 120 that they need to be His witnesses, "in Jerusalem, all of Judea, Samaria, and unto the utmost ends of the earth."   So why are a majority of the people going to be terrified when Jesus returns on a cloud?  The honest answer is because we have not been Jesus' witnesses.  We have not told people who Jesus is.  And worse, in many cases, we have lied to people about God and Jesus.  Many people have not heard about the love of God and the wrath of God.  These two sides of God must co-exist if we are to understand the Gospel Message.  The "Samaritans" need to be educated.  They need to be taught.  You may have given up evangelism of God's people because it appears to do no good.  Many people reject the claims of Christ.  I have discovered over many years of ministry that many "Christians" have rejected the message of Jesus.  Yes, I said Christians.  Denominations exist, more often than not, because there was a part of the Scripture that a group of people weren't comfortable listening to or obeying.  So, they formed their own "Christianity" so that they would be "comfortable."  Jesus never intended for us to be comfortable.  Jesus intended for us to be busy "passing it on!"  You may have also given up "preaching the Gospel" because in your mind, it has done no good.  Remember that we believe that Stephen only preached one sermon in his entire life.  It was preached in front of the Sanhedrin and probably only had one soul listening.  So, did Stephen's message really matter?  Of course and particularly, because the only person really listening was Saul, who became Paul!  In the Upper Room, following the ascension of our Lord, Peter was not taking suggestions from the audience about the task Jesus had given them as He arose.  Peter was busy quoting Scripture, praying, and replacing one of the disciples (Judas) so that the "church" could get on with Christ's work.  We should do the same.  So, the next time you look up or out, what will you see?  Will you or the "Samaritans" in your life be terrified when the cloud appears and the noise begins?  We need to get to work RIGHT NOW.  If we don't tell "Jerusalem, all of Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth," about Jesus BEFORE He comes back, none of us will know that "Our Salvation is Near!"