Daily encouragement

Video by

Kimber Gilbert

ACF Devo Team Leader

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Acts 1:11

“and they said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

Behind the Scenes

The book of Acts picks up where the Gospels end, continuing the story of the early church and the movement of the Gospel as the Holy Spirit begins to fill Christ followers and empower them for ministry. In the opening chapter, we read about the days after Jesus was resurrected and His ascension to Heaven when He left earth in His glorified body and took His place in heaven. He left with a promise that He would return again one day and gave the disciples and all followers a commission to go and make disciples of all the earth, teaching them and baptizing them.  

Just after Jesus was lifted up into the heavens, the disciples and those watching are left standing there, staring at the sky. Can you imagine what that would have been like? And then these two angels appear to them and that is where we pick up in today’s verse. They tell them to stop staring at the sky and that Jesus will return in the same way that He went.

It’s interesting to note that when the angels appear, they ask the followers of Jesus in a rhetorical way, “why do you stand looking into the sky?” It’s almost as if they are saying, “Why are you just standing there? Jesus has already told you what to do. Now, go do it. Trust that He will do what He said He will do.”

See, the disciples and all those gathered had just been given two commands- first they are commanded to go and make disciples. But Jesus then tells them to stay in Jerusalem and wait until the Holy Spirit comes before they launch out in ministry. They leave that place and go prepare the upper room where for the next 10 days, 120 people gather together in constant prayer and communion, awaiting the arrival of the promised Helper.  

It’s also important that we notice what the angel says- Jesus will come back in the same way that He left. This promise is repeated over again in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (He will descend from heaven), Matthew 24:30 (the Son of Man coming in the clouds), Revelation 1:7 (He is coming in the clouds), Matthew 26:64 (coming on the clouds of heaven), etc. Jesus did not hide the mode and the method of His return. It is something we can expect.  

Make it Real

So why does this matter and why should we take note of it? There are two important things that I want us to draw out from today’s passage. First, Jesus is coming in the clouds and when He does, Revelation 1:7 says that everyone will see Him. It will not be something we miss. This is good news because there are so many false prophets that have come claiming they are the returned messiah, and there will more who come in the future.  

But this is an important litmus test for the return of Messiah, whether He came in the clouds of heaven and whether the whole earth saw it. If you hear of someone claiming to be messiah, you can know with certainty that it is a false prophet because Jesus left no doubt how He would return. The antichrist will make this heretical claim in the end times. We don’t have to worry about being fooled if we hold to what the Scriptures CLEARLY and REPETATIVELY teach about the return of Christ.  

The second important thing that I want us to draw from this verse is that we too should not be caught staring up at the clouds. We know Jesus is returning. He has promised He would. We need not stand looking into the sky to make sure it happens. And in the meantime, we have a commission to follow. So like the followers of Christ, we are to move into action, not sit waiting and staring.  

Jesus will return. We can live our lives with that perfect hope. And He will return in a way that is promised and visible. We can move forward with that blessed hope and assurance, confident our Redeemer lives and will return for His bride. But also not hindered from the work He has called us to do.  

End in Prayer


Thank You that You didn’t make your second coming a secret for us to try and guess at. You spoke plainly and You revealed the truth to us so that we could spot the liars and not be fooled. Help us to be wise in the coming years as more false prophets try to claim Your name. Help us to be active as we wait, filled with the Holy Spirit and on mission for Your Gospel.  

In the name of Jesus Christ,


Written by

Crystal Garnett

ACF Digital Discipleship Director and Church Plant