Summary: Christ lives. The evidence is seen in multiple ways as His people serve and worship.
IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LIVING CHRIST
“I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.’”
Our Lord is alive. He is here. He dwells with His people. This is the testimony of the Faith. Too often we who are Christians have permitted the unbelieving world to define our Faith. We imagine that because our eyes do not see the Risen Saviour standing in our midst, He is not present. However, the testimony of the Word is that the Master is among us.
The world cannot recognise His presence. Perhaps the condition of earth dwellers is best described by a story which I once heard. The children had been instructed to bring a story to class that described what they did in the summer just past. Johnny, raised in a godly environment, was first to read his story. He told how his family had taken a vacation to the mountains. There, he had witnessed the beauty of God’s creation. He concluded by saying how thrilled he was to witness all that God had made.
The teacher—one of those modern, faithless individuals who imagined that she was the sole arbiter of wisdom appointed to destroy the faith of her charges— rebuked the lad. “Johnny, do you really believe God made the mountains?”
“Yes, teacher,” Johnny replied confidently.
Then, the teacher asked, “Johnny, have you ever seen God?”
“No, teacher, I’ve never seen God,” Johnny replied.
“Have you ever smelled God, heard God or touched God?” the teacher continued.
Again, Johnny admitted that he had never smelled, heard or touched God, at which point the teacher confidently asserted, “Then, if you can’t see God, smell God, hear God or touch God, God must not exist.”
Johnny was devastated by this crass assault against the values taught by his parents. However, little Sally spoke up. “I understand what you are saying, teacher.” Then, turning to the class, she asked, “Do you believe our teacher has a brain,” she asked? Of course the students laughed at such an absurd question. However, Sally quickly followed that question with this assertion, “None of us have ever seen the teacher’s brain; none of us have smelled, touched or heard the teacher’s brain. Therefore, our teacher does not have a brain!”
Class was dismissed for the remainder of the day.
The world cannot be the arbiter of this most holy Faith because the world is unable to recognise the reality of the True and Living God; the world neither hears God nor acknowledges His authority. In fact, those of this world are spiritually dead; they cannot know God because they are not known by God! However, the individual who knows God, or rather who is known by God, does not need evidence that He exists—they are confident that He is! Underscore in your mind that there is a vital difference in knowing about God and in knowing God. There are multitudes that know about God. Our seminaries and religious institutions are filled with people who know about God; like the Athenians whom Paul met, these individuals are “in every way … very religious” [see ACTS 17:22]. However, what they worship is unknown.
As Christians, we are oft-times challenged to defend why we believe in Christ the Lord. The simple answer to such challenge is that the Spirit of God lives within our hearts, and we are possessed of certainty of the Risen Son of God. He lives within us and resides among us. Whenever we gather to worship as the Community of Faith, the Risen Saviour is with us, walking up and down in the midst of His churches. Whenever we bow in prayer, the Son of God bends down to hear our plea; and He delights to give us an answer. In the midst of our various trials, the Son of God is ever with us, standing with us and giving us strength to endure.