So when Jesus ascended into heaven, He told His friends to remain faithful to all He had said and done, encouraging them that He would, indeed, return soon, completing the work of salvation that had begun with His birth in Bethlehem, His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead just outside the walls of Jerusalem. Listening carefully to what Jesus said, most of His first century followers decided amongst themselves that this second coming Christ spoke about was imminent. But here’s the rub…this second-coming event of Jesus didn’t happen like everyone thought it would! Jesus did promise to return, but apparently that wonderful life-giving event was not going to happen in the first few decades after Jesus’ ascension!
This left first-century church leaders (Peter, John, Paul, and others) with a big problem. Suddenly, the Christian life was no longer a short sprint to the finish line, but now, it had become a grueling, cross-country endurance race that must be run with great patience and perseverance. Thus, we now enter into the gut-wrenching realities that to be a Christian, a dedicated follower of Jesus, you and I must learn to go beyond just the spiritual truths of our faith, and get down-n-dirty with our day-to-day physical existence here on planet earth. So now, I invite you to get real with me and let’s begin a dialogue about earthly things such as how we control our bodies, our tongues, and our actions for the greater glory of God.
In this 12-blog series, we’ll look at very practical matters like how we must learn to love and honor both ourselves and others in order to be the Christ-centered followers the Master wants us to be here in the twenty-first century.