Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Hit «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Hit» Forward»

Unlikely Leaders, Page 14

who secretly believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah and many who had been deceived by priests and rulers. The disciples were to call these people to repentance. And it was while all Jerusalem was stirred by the thrilling events of the past few weeks that the preaching of the disciples would make the deepest impression.

During His ministry, Jesus had constantly reminded the disciples that they were to unite with Him in recovering the world from the slavery of sin. And the last lesson He gave His followers was that they held in trust for the world the good news of salvation.

When the time came for Christ to ascend to His Father, He led the disciples out as far as Bethany. Here He paused, and they gathered around Him. With His hands stretched out as if to assure them of His protecting care, He slowly ascended from among them. “While He blessed them, ... He was parted from them and carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:51).

While the disciples were gazing upward to catch the last glimpse of their ascending Lord, heavenly angels received Him and escorted Him to the courts above. The disciples were still looking toward heaven when “two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:10, 11).

Christ’s Second Coming—the Hope of the Church

Jesus’ disciples were always to keep fresh in their minds the promise of Christ’s second coming. The same Jesus would come again to take to Himself those who give themselves to His service here below. His voice would welcome them to His kingdom.

As in the symbolic service the high priest laid aside his special robes and officiated in the white linen garment of an ordinary priest, so Christ laid aside His royal robes, clothed Himself with humanity, and offered sacrifice, Himself the priest, Himself the victim. As the high priest came out to the waiting congregation in his special robes after performing his service in the Most Holy Place, so Christ will come the second time, clothed in His own glory and in the glory of His Father, and all the millions of angels will escort Him on His way.

In this way Christ will fulfill His promise: “I will come again and receive you to Myself” (John 14:3). The righteous dead will come from their graves, and those who are alive will be caught up with them, “to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). They will hear the voice of Jesus, sweeter than music, saying, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

How the disciples could rejoice in the hope of their Lord’s return!

«Back «Hit «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Hit» Forward»