I saw him as a bit of a “nut job” but…

Technology sure has changed life

When I was a child growing up in a small Otago town in the early sixties.

Television was something only a “few” had

If we wanted to watch TV, we would go up to the local appliance store to watch a single black and white TV in the stores window.

I remember the sound piped through a little speaker to the footpath was difficult to hear,

It was great as other members of the community stood shoulder to shoulder sometimes six deep watching this new gadget.

Friday nights, were late night shopping nights and watching TV was not a priority,

Dressed up in our “going out clothes” we would as family off downtown.

Everybody, and I mean everybody would be out, and it was a bit of a buzz.

Sometimes on a Friday night a group called the Open-Air Campaigners would be there in their drop sided caravan playing music and talking about God.

Having been brought up in a catholic home the concept of God was not foreign to me.

A young man approached me and started to speak with me.

I still recall his words to me.

He told me that when Jesus returns to the earth, everyone in the world will see him.

I had never heard that statement before, but to be fair at my catholic school we never really spoke about anything so deep.

And of course, we were discouraged from talking to people with other beliefs, because they would possibly conflict with our indoctrination.

I left him thinking he was some sort of nut job. Even at an early age I knew the earth was round and if I see Jesus’ return, there are others on the other side of the world could not.

But it was a statement which resonated with me, which I never forgot.

I admit despite all my training and investigation into the Bible, I remained sceptical throughout the years.

Sure, as television technology advanced, we could see things like an All-Black game being played in the Northern Hemisphere, but it just didn’t click.

It took until 2011 and an event in New York that the penny dropped.

I was a part of a global audience watching the same pictures as everyone else in the world.

My community seemed larger that day.

But the words of the young open-air campaigner came back to me and I finally could comprehend what he was talking about.

Like 9/11 as the world stopped in disbelief over an act of terrorism, regardless of what they’re doing or where they are, the same world will stop and see the return of Jesus.

While most of the worlds population watched in shock and despair as the events unfolded in 2011, there were others who were rejoicing at the attack on America.

Revelation 20 describes the return of Jesus this way

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.

 With justice he judges and wages war. 

12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns.

 He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 

He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 

14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 

15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”[a] 

He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

king of kings and lord of lords.

At that time, the eyes of the world will be fixated on his return.

Like we did outside the appliance store and in 2011 we will all stand shoulder to shoulder and look up and rejoice for our Salvation is near.

But for others there will be the gnashing of teeth knowing their day of judgement is near.

To the young campaigner half a century ago, your words were not in vain,

They did not fall on dry ground.

And you will not believe the message I have and still tell everyone yes you guessed it

Look up for this is where your salvation will come from.

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