Clothed with Power from on High
There is much speculation in today’s Church concerning the date of Jesus’s return to the earth. Little has changed from the Early Church. This same concern was on the mind and hearts of the early disciples. From Acts we read:
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8)
Jesus did not answer his disciples directly. Rather, he told them that there was a more important consideration for his Church. They were to be witnesses to his resurrection. From Luke we read:
“Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:46-49)
There would be two essential ingredients to witnessing for Christ: 1) they were to proclaim the repentance and forgiveness of sins, and 2) that they would be clothed with power from on high. That does not sound like a seeker church with a watered down Gospel.
The Church is not need to blend into the world and, thus, have little relevance. We need to be clothed with the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill our calling. The age of the apostolic faith is not over. We are now the apostles.
Are we equipped for ministry? If not, let us ask for power from on high. Jesus promises to baptize us in the Holy Spirit. He has called us to do his greater works. Now is not the time to shrink back or hide behind man-made doctrines or traditions.
The questions the angels asked the disciples on the day of ascension is still applicable to us:
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
We do not have time to waste. Let us get on with the true task of the Church. Jesus may come at any moment. We should be living holy lives with our lamps full of oil all the time. Our concern must be for the lost. That is the heart of God. We were once lost and someone witnessed to us. Will we not witness to others? If we love Jesus then we will obey his command and commission..
His great commission is all the more important today as we approach the close of the Church age. Jesus speaks to us today:
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Waiting on the return of Jesus is not our mission. The world is waiting on us. Jesus Christ living in us is the witness that the world needs to see. Have we received his Spirit? If not, we need to ask Jesus now. He will fill us and refill us with the Holy Spirit.