One summer afternoon while pastoring in the Black Hills of South Dakota, I returned to the church to find a crew just finishing resurfacing the entire church blacktop. I knew we had not authorized such a project, so I asked the foreman why they were there. He had just found out from his boss that he had taken the crew to the wrong location. They were supposed to resurface another location in our subdivision. Unfortunately for them, they were focused on the wrong area.
For forty days after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, He appeared to His faithful followers, “speaking [to them] of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). “The kingdom of God” is a somewhat generic term relating to God’s rule over all the ages, from creation to eternity future. In effect, our Lord gave them a Bible survey course to help them see how all things fit together in God’s overall plan. Included in this sequence, the promised future “kingdom of heaven,” or the Millennial Kingdom, was “at hand.” Almost certainly, He explained about the seven years of tribulation, needed comfort to face future persecutions, and instructions to stay busy reaching lost souls. In this context, the disciples asked their Messiah, “…Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Their question went beyond curiosity. As indicated in Matthew 19:27, they focused like a laser beam on what they would receive when the Millennial Kingdom was established. Their inquiry was wrong for two reasons. Twice before, the Lord Jesus told them that only the Father knew the exact time the Millennial Kingdom would be established (Matthew 24:36, 42). Therefore, He said, “It is not for you to know the times…” (Acts 1:7). More importantly, they had lost their focus on ministry. This answer implied that they were to continually center their focus on being faithful in His service until His return as King of kings, whenever that would be.
Sometimes we believers in the Dispensation of Grace make a similar mistake of having the wrong focus. We think primarily about family, leisure time, sports, even the study of prophecy, or expectation of heaven. We must never forget our constant focus is to be on reaching souls with the Gospel of the Grace of God, and remain faithful in His service until He calls us into the heavens. We have work to do for Christ! Stay focused on spiritual ministry above other distractions.
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