“It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:7-8
In this passage, Jesus gives a clear description of what Christ-followers don’t know, what we do know, and what we are called to do with what we know.
We don’t know the times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. I think that many divisions and controversies within the Church are born out of this lack of knowledge. There are arguments about free will, predestination, sin in a believer’s life, the nature of the Holy Spirit, pre- and post-tribulation, pre- and post-millennialism—the list goes on and on.
Interpretations of Scripture, especially concerning the return of Christ, are wildly varying and often unclear. This shouldn’t surprise us 21st century Christians, because Jesus told us that only the Father knows for sure!
If we don’t know the answer to all of the theological questions, what do we know? We know the gospel of Jesus Christ, revealed to us through God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. We know that God took on human form in Jesus, that He lived in this world but was without sin, and that He died to redeem the world from the power of Satan through His grace.
Not only do we know what the Bible tells us, we know how God has moved in our lives. Jesus tells His disciples that they will be His witnesses, which means that they are to share their testimonies of grace with the world around them. Each of us has a testimony of God’s work in us and through us, and no one can deny this knowledge.
What to Do
I don’t have all the answers, but I do have the gospel and my life testimony. With these tools I must witness to my own city, Austin rather than Jerusalem. I must witness to my region, Texas rather than Judaea and Samaria. And I must witness to the end of the earth, I must reach the nations with this message.