By Jarrod Belcher
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11. In the past few weeks that the Ascension of Jesus has been our focus we have talked about the current benefits both to us and to our Lord. But there is a final thing that ought to be considered. The fact that Jesus has ascended means that one day he will come again. The Apostle Paul refers to this as the Blessed Hope in his letter to Titus.
And that’s an interesting thought to have; that the return of Christ is the Blessed Hope. Perhaps we’re living as Christians in America at the easiest period in history to be a Christian. Any persecution we would face is light compared to any other age and indeed compared to the rest of the Christian world. American Christians are distracted by so many things. Not to mention the fact that we have all the comforts of modern living. We have sports, television series, movies, and other entertainment to dull ourselves to the fact that this world is being torn apart by sin and suffering. When we live in good health and are distracted from the reality that many face it is kind of hard to see the return of Christ as the Blessed Hope. Instead we may find ourselves wanting him to delay his appearing.
But much of the Christian world would see the return of Christ as the Blessed Hope. In fact the Christian world Paul was writing to was besieged with suffering on every side. Christians in Judaea were persecuted for leaving Judaism and Gentile Christians were persecuted for leaving the pagan religions. At times the Roman persecution of Christians was so severe that it would cost you your life to claim Christ as Lord instead of Caesar. So as we ponder the Ascension let us see in it the Blessed Hope: The return of Christ to do away with all evil and injustice. And no matter what comforts we now have, may we always be looking forward to the appearing of our Lord.