Then I was 10, Neil Armstrong sent those words echoing across a quarter million miles of space. I felt like I was there with him as he achieved his mission--to be the first man to set foot on the moon. As I write this on the anniversary of the moon landing, I can still feel the excitement of that historic moment.
I've always had a fascination with space missions, from John Glenn to Jean-Luc Picard, with his fictional mission to boldly go where no one had gone before. Great missions have inspired amazing achievements.
In 1969, when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, my family was also embarking on a mission of our own. We made contact with extraterrestrial life! We started attending church and learning about the great Creator God who made the heavens and the earth. We learned about Jesus Christ, the awesome importance of His first coming to earth, and the vital need for His second coming to set up His Kingdom. This was the good news--the gospel--that Jesus preached (Mark 1:15).
Jesus' second coming plays a pivotal role in the Bible. It will be a truly giant leap for mankind! Jesus Christ told us to pray that God's Kingdom will come (Matthew 6:10) and explained the destructive world events that will lead up to this momentous climax (Matthew 24). After Jesus ascended to heaven, the angels told His disciples, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). That will be the time when Jesus will take charge of the kingdoms of this world (Revelation 11:15).
Neil Armstrong wasn't the only one with a mission. Christ commissioned His followers to proclaim the good news of His Kingdom and to teach those disciples God would call to share in this work (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20). The mission remains for Christians today. Our troubled world has a greater need for this hope than ever before. Our mission is to tell others about God's mission!
This issue of VCM features an article that focuses on Jesus Christ's return. "Storm Without Warning" uses the analogy of the deadly storm that hit Galveston, Texas, 100 years ago, and how the residents could have been spared if the weathermen had known what to look for and had warned everyone. We can know the warning signs of the end of this evil age, and can give a clear message of warning and hope. The article offers an excellent free resource, Are We Living in the Time of the End?
Along with the future, Virtual Christian Magazine also covers the here and now, the joys and sorrows of striving to represent Jesus Christ in today's world. We welcome your comments and suggestions for making this on-line publication more helpful to you, and for reaching more people with it.
Sometimes VCM seems like an impossible mission--so few doing so big a job with virtually no budget. It's made possible by many volunteers donating their time and efforts free of charge as a labor of love. And we are preparing for growth. Already VCM is receiving about a thousand additional click-throughs a month just with a $20 promotion on GoTo.com.
But you dedicated readers can do far more than that. If you've found VCM helpful, we have a mission for you. Please let others know about VCM.
Spread the word. Tell someone about an interesting article. Put a message about VCM at the bottom of your e-mail messages. Put a link on your Web site. Print the magazine out for others who don't have Internet access. Create some buzz.
Our many small steps can add up to a GIANT LEAP for our mission