“What is our hope for the future?” That’s the question we’re answering in this segment of our series. But before we move on, let’s review a bit. As you may remember, the first articles and supporting videos addressed foundational issues of confidence in truth/reality (CC 101), the nature of God (CC 102), and specific definitions of goodness (CC 103). We began there since our confidence stands, struggles, or sinks there, impacting our view and pursuit of progress in life. They are bedrock issues.
In other words, confidence is about where we’re standing. But it’s also about our sense of progress: pursuing a better future with a relative certainty of that hope. And to know where people seek hope we simply have to watch for patterns in pursuing progress. This will be especially apparent in how they (and we) spend time, energy, or money. Such resources are limited, so we invest them in what we see as our best future. Look at your schedule, peak hours, or banking activity. It’s revealing.
God’s Word and human experience reveal some of the most common future pursuits as increasing material wealth (Genesis 4:19-24, Luke 12:13-21), greater personal reputation and power (Jeremiah 9:23-24, Daniel 4:28-33), and more physical safety/pleasure (Matthew 6:19-34, Philippians 3:17-21).
The Bible summarizes each of these as love and hope for “things of this world” destined to perish, while God calls His people to love and hope in being with Him through Christ eternally. (John 12:25, 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, 2 Timothy 4:9-10, 1 John 2:15-17, etc.) In other words, the good future of all who love Christ is eternity with Him in paradise. This world and everything in it is a sinking ship.
But if you’re following Jesus by faith in Him, your eternal life has already begun (Luke 19:9, Hebrews 3:13-15, 1 John 5:11, etc.): an intimate relationship with Him now and forever (John 3:36 and 17:3), an overflow to care for others now and forever (John 4:14), His certain forgiveness now and forever (John 5:24), spiritual “food” that endures now and forever (John 6:27 and 54), and all by His grace now and forever (Romans 6:23). So Paul encourages and exhorts us to live this life that is “now and not yet” to the full. (1 Corinthians 9:25, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Philippians 2:11-12, 1 Timothy 6:11-12)
In this week’s video we consider several passages that show God’s future for His people as gradually revealed in His eternal covenant: paradise with Him through Christ. But don’t take my word for it – check out passages from His Word in the video. And that paradise is not one of disembodied cherubs floating on a cloud playing boring music on harps. Scripture describes the eternal home of the faithful as perfect physically, spiritually, and relationally (Isaiah 65:17-25, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, 2 Peter 3:10-13, Revelation 21:1-22:5). Notice any faithful, elderly believer. Their body and often even their mind is dying, and all they own will soon pass to someone else. But if they love Jesus because He’s forgiven them and His Spirit dwells in them, their spirit reveals God’s growing glory in them.
Discuss just a few points on this week’s subject of Christians’ hope for the future.
* What is the actual ROI for some of your specific uses of time, energy, or money?
* Per 2 Peter 1:3-11, how do you see God working toward your future? Be specific.
You can see other articles and the embedded videos in this series here.