“And when Jesus came to the place, [H]e looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.” (Luke 19:5)
“And [H]e looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.” (Luke 21:1)
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)
I learned years ago, when I was a landscaping foreman to “look up.” I learned to look up in the trees for dead branches, low hanging “widow-makers”, limbs or branches rubbing against each other, which allows insects and disease to set in. Also, I had to keep an eye out for branches rubbing up against buildings and reaching toward windows.
I also learned to look up when I found an interest birds. I enjoy watching birds as they perch on wires and tree limbs. I enjoy watching them in flight. Recently, my eldest daughter and I went to a mall and, as is my custom, I looked up and to my excitement and reward my daughter and I beheld (2) two majestic and rather regal hawks. These hawks were perched on a J.C. Penney marquis. (1) one of the hawks caught sight of a smaller bird and launched after it. Wow. Again, we were rewarded for looking up.
We see from the (3) three quotes passages above that our Lord Jesus would look up and He instructs us to look up. He instructs us to look up because it is from above our redemption and salvation shall come. Our Lord forewarns us that many will seek to deceive us with false Christs. He disspells this by telling us that He will descend from above with power and great glory when He returns. There should be no confusion.
This thought of our Lord’s return is meant to cause excitement and hope within the Christ-ian. His promised return should cause pure living, prayer, worship and evangelism. However, we are disheartened to report to you, beloved readers, that many professing believers are not looking for Christ’s return. These professing believers say things like, “I know I should be excited, but I want to see my kids grow up.” or “Yeah, I know that He is going to return soon, but I really want to see my X get married and have babies.” These are very disheartening to this preacher. These kind of statements cause me great concern.
When professing Christ-ians say things like this, they are admitting, unknowingly, to loving family more than Christ. This is a type of rebellion, as Christ said, very clearly and directly, that one must love Him more than family. He even said we must love Him and hate family. Paul teaches us that Christ must have the preeminence, which means, in my mind, above 1st place.
Men came to Christ asking to be one of His followers. These men, however, wanted to take care of other worldly matters first. Christ rejected them all. Christ said, if a man looks back wards after having taken hold of the plough, this man is not fit for the Kingdom of God. The Scriptures exhort us to remember Lot’s wife. Christ-ians are not to look back, we are to look up. Looking back speaks to love for the world, which is enmity with God; Looking up speaks to Hope. Looking up speaks to Christ as our blessed Hope. The Heavens declare God’s glory, so one must look up to see the Heavens declaring God’s glory.
Paul told us that he was between a rock and a hard place. Paul wanted to depart and to be with Christ. However, Paul also knew he must remain for the elects sake, as this was his Master’s will. Paul teaches us to forget about the past and reach forward to greater things.
Professing Christ-ians that want Christ to “wait a little while” remind us of the men who asked to be His followers but were rejected because of their worldly cares. A Christ-ian looks up longingly for His Master’s return. A Christ-ian loves to dwell upon the thoughts of Christ’s return. A Christ-ian looks up, through prayer, and calls upon Christ to return and to do so quickly.
Christ asks and wonders if He will find faith on earth at His return. After hearing many persons hoping Christ tarries His return, We , too, ask and wonder if He will find faith on earth.
On the other hand, it is a wise Christ-ian that asks, “Why do I look forward to Christ’s return or why do I want to go to Heaven? The only correct answer is… to see Christ and to be in His tangible Presence. Of course, we also want to reunite with family and friends. Of course, we want to meet persons from Scripture and the authors that taught us so much. But Christ Jesus, our Lord, our Master, our Saviour, our ever-Present Companion; The Godhead, in Whom the Trinity is pleased to dwell is the attraction. It is He that we must look for, long for, and love His Appearing.
Heaven is not an escape from life. Heaven is not a better place. No. that kind of thinking is wrong, wrong, wrong. Heaven is the Place where we can finally be with Christ. Heaven is the place, where some will hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Heaven is a place where sin does not exist. Heaven is the place where we are saved from the very presence of sin.
How do we know there is such a place? Our longing and our looking testifies to the reality of Heaven. A fish does not long to fly in the sky. This is because the fish is exactly where the fish should be. Why do we, humans, imagine mythical places? Why do we humans read about others worlds? Why do we even dare think of such a place as Heaven? It is because it is real and it is where we are suppose to be.
Beloved Christ-ian reader, Look up…Look up for your redemption draweth nigh.
One is wise, who has this mind set: Everything is secondary to Christ; One must get Him right. If one is right with Christ, God’s only begotten Son, one is in a good place.
Beloved reader, LOOK UP.