"And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Acts 1:10-11 (Read 1-11).
Thursday is Ascension Day, commemorating Christ's glorious ascension to the right hand of God the Father in heaven on the 40th day after His resurrection from the dead.
This Word of God, which was spoken by angels to the disciples who had just witnessed Jesus' ascension into heaven, teaches us that Jesus Christ will return visibly in the clouds of glory on the Last Day.
The Bible says: "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen" (Rev. 1:7).
As Jesus ascended into heaven, so He shall also return on the Last Day, the Day of Judgment. Those who do not trust in Him for salvation will wail in sorrow at His return because they stand condemned for not trusting in the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18). But those who do trust in Him as their Savior -- believing that they have pardon for their sins and peace with God for the sake of Christ's innocent sufferings and death in their stead -- will rejoice at His return because He comes to take them to be with Him forever in the mansions of heaven (cf. Luke 21:27-28; Heb. 9:27-28; John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).
What about you? Do you repent of your sinful ways and look in faith to Christ Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross for mercy and forgiveness? Or do you refuse to repent and look to Jesus for pardon and forgiveness?
The Bible tells us: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16).
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, as You have ascended up into heaven to the right hand of God the Father, so come again and take us to be with You forever. Graciously keep us in the true faith so that, on that Day, we may greet You with joy and not with sorrow. Grant this to us for the sake of Your holy life and bitter sufferings and death on the cross in our stead. Amen.
Editor's note: Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected] More of Moll's devotional writings are freely available at https://www.goodshepherdonline.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.