In Acts 20 we read the climax to Paul’s travels. He is heading towards his destiny in Jerusalem. He arrives at Miletus and “sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him” (verse 17). Among the things he said to them was his declaration (verse 25) that none of them would see his face again, adding the challenging comment, “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God” (verses 26,27).
This creates food for thought. How much have you and I “declared” at least a fundamental message to our neighbours, friends and work associates that there is a God who made everything and who will soon punish the world because it has become so godless? And then, to that message we can add that after this punishment, there will be a wonderful transformation far beyond our comprehension.
It will greatly exceed the transformation that took place in Judah and Jerusalem in the time of Ezra. Today, in the last chapter of 2 Chronicles, we read of the utter desolation of God’s nation because “all the officers of the priests and the people likewise were exceedingly unfaithful” (verse 14). It is the same today compared to when the Bible was first available for all to read.
Most of us are familiar with Isaiah’s prophecy of what “shall come to pass in the latter days”. Wonderfully “many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house (Temple) of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples” (2:2-4). And in Zion they will worship at the new glorious temple, which Jesus said would be “a house of prayer for all the nations” (Mark 11:17).
Let us witness to the wonder of our faith in this hope so that we can say, “I am innocent” of the fate of my workmates, neighbours and others of the world I have contact with because I have not failed to testify to what I believe. Remember the comment Paul made to the Corinthians, “I believed, and so I spoke” (2 Corinthians 4:13). Let us do likewise.