Our paradigm of understanding is a box. We usually see things from our perspective with little or no thought about how others may understand the same thing.
Take world events, for instance. So many well intentioned believers, seeing the evil and chaos everywhere, are sure that Christ must be returning soon. This “conviction” is often driven by a desire to avoid suffering rather than having been derived out of the pages of Scripture.
Jesus made it clear that “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations (ethne’), and then the end will come,” Matthew 24:14. J. Oswald Smith declared, “We talk of the Second Coming; half of the world has never heard of the first.” Yes, there are still over six thousand unreached people groups (ethne’) in the world. The task has not been accomplished.
Don’t get me wrong. Jesus could come any day, but from the view of Scripture, it looks like we have some serious work still to do.
In the days ahead, I would like you to join me in a search to understand our part, beginning with a very familiar, but vaguely understood statement of Jesus: “It’s not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has fixed 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, Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth,” Acts 1:7-8.
I’m convinced that every person and every church is to play an irreplaceable role in God’s big plan. Let’s go for it!