“…After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the Kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about’….’It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.'” Acts: 1: 3-7
I admitted to myself a few weeks ago that the main reason I made the hour trek out to Dongshin English Service on Sunday had much less to do with worshipping God and much more to do with seeing people. Though a true believer in Christ, as a churchgoer, I regret to admit I fall into the category of people who attend to find a “social network of people with similar opinions about the world.” Church attendance exists for reasons such as family routine, appeasing a “good Christian” complex, a genuine desire to worship the Father in community or any combination of these factors.
The clarity brought by Acts 1: 1-8 more than blows that category out of the water. Though Christ’s work on the cross is fully finished, as living members of his body, the Church, Jesus invites us to join in the continuing work of building His Kingdom. In Acts 1:1-8, we realize that God has provided everything we need to do his work, but He has wisely kept everything we do not need.
What an awesome promise to trust in! God has provided all that you and I need to do the works that he’s prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10). Our Lord Jesus knew and still knows all that we need.
He knew the disciples then and the disciples of today would need to be fully convinced that their Savior was no martyr but was and is alive. If our Savior is dead, then we’re still dead in our transgressions. He’s alive, and we need to believe it in order to work unto the glory of His Kingdom.
Our Lord Jesus knew we would need instruction through the Holy Spirit and about the Kingdom of God. Many followers today do not “study to show thyself approved” like Paul commanded Timothy, but the church needs such instruction through the Spirit and the word to keep from going astray. Jesus knew we would need to be certain of God’s Kingship in our lives, so He spent his last days teaching about the Kingdom of God and reminding the disciples about the promised gift. Jesus’ instruction about the Kingdom, the Holy Spirit and our assurance of salvation are all we need to live as slaves to the King, and thus, members of the church.
Then, the same God who provides for all we need also conceals all that we don’t need to know. We don’t need to know the day or time of His return. Jesus, Lord and Savior, assured us that we didn’t need to know. Dates and times belong to the Father. We don’t need to know when God will provide a new job direction, a beautiful spouse or when that lost family member will finally cross the line of faith. The knowledge of these things would only make us arrogant, distract us, and detract from the King’s glory in His Kingdom.
I’m amazed to discover God’s wisdom is providing for our needs and in concealing our wants. How great is our God in providing and concealing!
Jesus’ instruction about the Kingdom should put a flame to the fire of Dongshin English service. I’m a fan of social networking, but Jesus brought us together for a greater purpose: the ongoing work of his Kingdom.