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The Scenario of the Future

The former Things, The things of our present experience, Will all pass away.

With what seems like an ever-increasing speed, we’re moving from the past through the present and into the future. This is the way God has set things up in this world, and therefore the Scripture advises as to our attitude toward the passing of time. It says, “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before” (Phil. 3:13). Therefore, God has advised us to not be unduly influenced by the past, but to be filled with anticipation for the days to come. We are to be “reaching forth” to the things that lie before.

What then is in the future for the believer? In that the child of God is a creature of eternity, we can be sure that God will preside above our lives in this world and bring us into His eternal dwelling place and that for ever and ever. God presides above the future, and therefore we can be confident in the message of Scripture as to what that future contains. The things that lie before include the following:

1. LIVING IN AN EXCITING WORLD. Even after we become Christians, God allows us to live in this time and tempo world. Filled with problems, difficulties, opportunities, and great adventures, the lives that we live in the bourne of time are both pleasing and anxious. There are certainly two reasons at least why the Christian is called upon to live, we might say, through stage one of his Christian life, in the world of time. The first reason is that we might grow in grace. The problems, the buffetings, the experiences of life all conspire together to make us strong in the Lord and capable, articulate, exemplary Christians. When we remember that God is “bringing many sons into glory” (Heb. 2:10), we will not resent the buffetings of life.

The second reason that we are called upon to live our lives in this world is so that we might be witnesses for Christ. The Lord Jesus announced that we were the ones who would be called upon to tell the story of the Gospel. God has chosen to represent Himself in this age not by angels or heavenly beings, but by human creatures. He uses redeemed men and women to represent the Gospel so that others too may come to know Christ as personal Savior. We must be good representatives of that Gospel! We must be ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20).

2. OUR TRANSLATION FROM THIS WORLD TO THE WORLD TO COME. Yes, there is coming a time when our sojourn in the world and as creatures of time will be past. Then we will truly realize that the world of our earthly sojourn was “our light affliction, which is but for a moment” and it “works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17). This life is certainly not an end in itself but rather it is the prelude to glory. How tragic that unsaved people have everything at stake in this world. By doing this, they make many mistakes, the greatest of which is they overemphasize the importance of this life. Yes, we will be translated from this world to the world to come. Let us remember that there are two possible methods by which this will take place.

A. Physical death. The Scripture tells us that “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Death, however, while a sobering thought, should hold no terrors for the Christian.

B. The Rapture of the Church. The Scripture promises that there is a generation of Christians that will not die. Rather, they will be translated bodily from earth to heaven. “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” (1 Cor. 15:51-52). There is a dramatic moment coming up for that generation which lives in the world on the occasion of the return of Christ for His own.

3. THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST. There is an evaluation time which has been appointed for every Christian. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). The Judgment Seat of Christ will be an awesome experience. Some on that occasion will have nothing to present to the Lord except wood, hay, and stubble. Others will bring before the Lord gold, silver, and precious stones. Some will have their work burned up, whereas others will bear the treasure of spiritual accomplishment for all of eternity (1 Cor. 3:10-15). Remember that the Judgment Seat of Christ is for Christians only. The issue on that auspicious occasion will not be salvation. Salvation is settled forever the instant I believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him as my personal Savior. But at the Judgment Seat of Christ, the issue will be the works which I have accomplished as a result of believing on the Lord Jesus.

4. THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB. We must remember that the Church is not only the body of Christ, but the Church is also the bride of Christ. God has appointed a tremendous occasion in which He will welcome His bride to heaven. The marriage supper of the Lamb will be an awesome occasion. There, those who are dressed in the white robes of His righteousness will enjoy the loveliest banquet, the most delightful occasion that will have been known in all of eternity. What a grand day that will be (Rev. 19:7-10)!

5. WE RETURN WITH CHRIST. Jesus Christ has promised to come again in power and great glory (Rev. 19:11-16). But He will come with an army which will consist of ten thousands of His saints (Jude 14). So the unfinished business that God has in this world will be completed by the glorious return of Christ as we return with Him. Upon that occasion, the Antichrist will be destroyed (2 Thess. 2:8). And the world will be made subject to the reign of the King of all kings, Christ Jesus Himself (Rev. 20:4-6).

Let us remember that, while these events are taking place for believers, there will be in the meantime another, less salutary series of events taking place in the world. The world, in that it is not the inheritor of destiny, will suffer a horrible fate. The events ahead for the world will include:

1. A DETERIORATING SOCIETY. The Scripture reminds us of “perilous times” coming upon the world. It even then announces that “Evil men and seducers shall become worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:1,13). All of the promises of utopia will not avail, but rather the culture that has attempted to exist without God will lose its capacity to function. Anarchy, terrorism, crime, revolution, and war will come upon society with increasing frequency.

2. THE RISE OF ANTICHRIST. The Scripture indicates that a dreadful world ruler will be escalated to power and will become for a brief time the master of the earth. He will first rule a revived Roman empire, and then will be escalated to world power. Initially, he will be a man of peace (Dan. 8:25) with a great plan for the future of the world. The result, however, will not be peace, but will be great destruction (1Thess. 5:2,3).

3. THE TRIBULATION. There is coming in the world a seven-year period which is called “Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7). In this time, the world will be the object of the wrath of God. The Scripture teaches that the world is even now treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God (Rom. 2:5). That judgment will come in devastating fashion. During the days of the Tribulation, more than one half of the population of the world will die from war, plague, and many other things.

4. THE CONVERSION OF ISRAEL. During the days of the Tribulation, Israel will recognize Jesus Christ as its Messiah, and be converted to faith in Him. So the nation, now under a cycle of discipline, will be brought to faith in the Savior (Rev. 7:4-8).

5. GLOBAL EVANGELISM. From the state of Israel, 144,000 witnesses will tell the story, the Gospel of the kingdom across the world. While tribulation will come upon earth, the hope of Israel will burn brightly and be shared by all who will believe, both Jew and Gentile (Rev. 7:9-17).

6. THE DESTRUCTION OF ANTICHRIST AND THE CONSUMMATION OF HISTORY. This will be accomplished by the glorious return of Jesus Christ when He comes to put down all power and all authority. His glorious return will destroy the man of sin and bring in the great reign of righteousness that the world has so long sought but has been unable to obtain (2 Thess. 2:8).

7. THE MILLENNIAL REIGN OF CHRIST. It is true that Christ will reign where’er the sun doth its successive journeys run. Israel at that time will be the leading nation of the world, and Christ will rule from the holy city, Jerusalem. The nations of the earth will be made to do obeisance then to the great King (Rev. 20:1-6).

Following the millennial reign of Christ there will be a brief, final rebellion against God (Rev. 20:9). The former things, the things of our present experience, will pass away. We will then move into an age of bliss and joy which is beyond description in human terms (1 Cor. 2:9).

We must all be reminded that the great issue of life, therefore, is to be sure that we know Jesus Christ as personal Savior. To every reader we would extend the reminder: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). By believing in Christ, we have everlasting life, and by neglecting or refusing to trust in Him as personal Savior, we have only everlasting death. Knowing Christ is therefore the great issue of all of life.

Be reminded also that service for Christ pays eternal dividends. The Christian who is committed to do the will of God and actually performs the fulfilling of that will can anticipate great rewards in heaven’s glory.

From the writings of Dave Breese

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