Christians are sometimes tempted with serious doubts regarding the Christian faith. Is the Bible really God’s inerrant, authoritative, all-sufficient word? Is Jesus really God, and really the only way to the Father? Did Jesus really rise from the dead; is He really coming back again someday? Come on…really?
Much of what can provoke our doubts are the challenges, difficulties, pains, and sorrows we experience in this life. At one level we understand the Christian life was never guaranteed to be easy. But is it really supposed to be this hard, for this long? Where is Jesus, and the purposes and promises of God in all this? Is it really worth it to keep trusting and following Jesus? Is He really real? Or is this whole Christianity thing just some giant myth…just one of countless man-made religions around the world? Oh, how such doubts can overwhelm and immobilize!
The living God Himself, in and through His holy word, gives rock-solid assurance of His eternal reality in Jesus Christ! He permanently reigns, and He perfectly cares for His own! What soul-comforting assurance that evaporates every doubt! As we began to see last Lord’s Day with our first study in the Book of Acts, the giving of this assurance is at the heart of why Luke has written this book (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit). Connected with the same reason he wrote his Gospel, Luke wants believers to know the certainty (assurance) of what we’ve been taught (see Lk. 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-3).
Professor Alan J. Thompson elaborates on Luke’s purpose regarding assurance: “God’s people may be assured therefore that, because the Lord Jesus continues to reign, they will be enabled by the Holy Spirit to serve him and reflect his character, the word will continue to spread even in the midst of opposition, and local churches will be established and strengthened with the apostolic message about the Lord Jesus. Luke’s emphasis on the nature of the kingdom of God, therefore, is as relevant for Christian readers today as it was for the first century. All who follow the Lord Jesus this side of the cross and resurrection need to know that God is continuing to accomplish his purposes even now through the reign of the Lord Jesus.” (Alan J. Thompson. The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus: Luke’s Account of God’s Unfolding Plan, 2011, Kindle Loc. 147-149).
Beloved, let us be all the more assured of the reality of the Father’s saving purposes in Jesus Christ, and all the more devoted to trusting and obeying our Savior and Lord, in the power of the Holy Spirit! I continue to pray for you and myself to this end, even as exemplified by Paul in Eph. 1:15-23.
Because He lives, and is returning (really!),