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Christian Destiny Christian Destiny
Then Shall We Know

By Dave Breese

One of the most universal characteristics of our world condition, which affects everything and everybody, is incompleteness. Perfection continues to escape all of us and all of our efforts; so the results of our endeavors are short of perfect—short of the fulfillment of our well-laid human plans. Thesame goes, of course, for humanknowledge. This is always the case because our knowledge is partial and incomplete. The Apostle Paulpoints this up when he says, “Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (ICor. 13:12). The characteristic of everything which we think we know in this world is partiality, we only know in part. This is easy to show when we remind ourselves that no one knows what light is, what life is, what electricity is, how the mind influences the body, or where thewind comes from. In fact, speaking about the wind and everything else, our Lord said, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth” (John 3:8). Interestingly, He finished this expression by saying, “So is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

Because we do not know everything, we are wise to be humble about our so-called “great knowledge.” Thomas Edison reminded us that no person aliveknows more than one 1/100th of one percent of anything. Our knowledge is, in fact, so limited that we have no recourse except to turn to the stated principle that “the just shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:17). Speaking strongly about this, the Scripture says, “For it is written, I willdestroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing theunderstanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer ofthis world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Cor. 1:19,20).

Mere Human Intellect
We are wise, therefore, to beware of the person whose only credentials are earthly knowledge. The Scripture says, “The world by wisdom knew not God” (I Cor. 1:21), which says it all about the capacities of the mere human intellect.

But let us note that after Paul talks about human partiality, he gives us a prophetic promise. Every person who seeks after wisdom or fulfillment of any kind should rejoice when reading, “But then shall I know even as also I am known” (I Cor. 13:12). Yes,the prophecy of the Word of God is that there is coming a day of perfect knowledge, total realization of reality, a wonderful understanding of everything. Think of it! Perfect knowledge will one day arrive for all of us who know Jesus Christ as personal Savior. With such a promise, we should all be delighted.

Of what will that knowledge consist? First of all, we can be sure that it will be a first-hand knowledge of the great reality—heaven! For many Christians, heaven is an entirely too distant place. It isephemeral, cloudlike and “unreal.” Many foolishly think that the physical realities of this world are more substantial than the spiritual realities which we sense in this world and will know completely when we go to heaven. Nothing could be further from the truth.

These bodies in this world are, in fact, passing finite things. The thing that does not fade nor pass is the eternal reality of heaven. Concerning heaven, the Scripture says, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (I Cor. 2:9). Happily, we have a partial sense of heaven, for the Scripture says, “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2:10). Alas, how wonderful it will be when we move from the shadow to the substance. We must learn that this world is not final reality, but rather it is the prelude to reality. It is but the introduction to that fabulous life which will be ours when we move from the Church Militant to the Church Triumphant. We will touch the streets of gold, we will examine the mansions, we will partake of the exquisite cuisine—yes, we shall know even as we are known.

Happily, we also are sure that we will “know” Jesus Christ, seeing Him face-to-face. While we are in this body, we fulfill the Scripture that says, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (II Cor. 5:8). Preceeding this, however, we are at home in the body and, therefore, we are absent from the Lord. This is our human condition, but it will certainly not be the mode of reality that we participate in when we are in heaven.

Glad Reunions
Think of it! We shall be in the living presence of Jesus Christ. To contemplate the moment of receiving His tender embrace is itself wonderful beyond description.

Let us also remember that we shall know our loved ones. Heaven could hardly be heaven without recognizing Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, wife or husband, and children once again. Glad reunions will mark those days. We will not even have to leave to get home early because there is no night there.

Also, we shall see and know the saints who have gone before. Every generation has produced distinguished leaders whom we have not yet met. We shall meet them there; what delightful conversations those will bring.In addition to all this, there are a thousand facts, ideas, details of life and eternity which are unknown to us now. In that day of perfect knowledge, we shall understand it all. Knowledge will then be perfect and total wisdom will be available to each of us.

Final Answers
Considering all of this, there is a wonderful fact that we should remember even now. It is this. Final answers must await our arrival at heaven. Yes, through a study of the Word of God we can learn much, for it contains all that pertains to life and godliness. However, with finite minds and human brains, it is impossible now for us to understand it all. But over there, in that land of fadeless day, we will know. “We'll understand it better by and by” is a valid line from the old song. The person who demands that all questions be answered here is asking for the impossible. The person who now lives by faith and is totally confident of perfect knowledge “over there”—that person will walk in confidence and capability. In this world, we are promised everything we need to know. In that world, we are promised all knowledge. Yes, we will know it all!

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