Saturday, February 18, 2017

Our Hope Is in the Age to Come

"Lift up your eyes to the sky,
Then look to the earth beneath;
For the sky will vanish like smoke,
And the earth will wear out like a garment
And its inhabitants will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,

And My righteousness will not wane."
- Isaiah 51:6, NASB

Our hope is in the age to come.

We were born into this world and it is all we have known, so it is natural to think this is all there is. It is tempting to think that if we are going to have a good life and a future, we must build it here and now in this present reality. 

"For this world in its current form is passing away." - 1 Corinthians 7:31, Holman CSB

However, by faith in the word of God we lay hold of the truth: This world in its current form is passing away. This is not our home. This life is a testing ground where are our eternal destinies are decided. Did we repent of evil and believe in Jesus Christ to have eternal life with him? Or did we go along with the world and follow Satan into the lake of fire? Not only is our eternal position determined here, but our eternal rewards as well. God generously rewards faithful service. Jesus said to store up treasures in heaven where they endure forever, not on earth where everything will perish. That means He wants us to invest our talents and resources into doing good and advancing the Kingdom of Heaven, not building our own fiefdoms destined to perish quickly.

When I say quickly, I mean quickly! The Holy Spirit has revealed that we are approaching the end of this age. Judgments are coming on the world. The Four Horsemen of Revelation are riding. The battle of Gog and Magog and the destruction of Mystery Babylon is coming too, as well as the New World Order beast kingdom. This generation is going to see it all.

It is critical to build our faith in God and prepare to deal with suffering, persecution, calamity and loss. We must detach from this world in its present form and put our hope in the age to come. Jesus said in this world we will have tribulation. It's not going to be fun retirements with generous pensions and Caribbean cruises. The prosperity preachers' promise of "our best life now" is causing people to put their hope in this world and leading them astray - exactly what Satan wants. Shepherds need to tell their sheep the truth of what is coming from the pulpit, otherwise people may lose their faith in the fiery trials ahead.

So where is our hope? Our hope is in the age to come. Our hope is that Jesus is coming back to defeat Satan and his minions and bring peace and renewal to earth for a magnificent thousand-year reign. Beyond that even greater things are coming - a new heaven and a new earth! It's all good if we are in Christ.

"How lovely on the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who announces peace
And brings good news of happiness,
Who announces salvation,
And says to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'
Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices,
They shout joyfully together;
For they will see with their own eyes
When the Lord restores Zion. 
Break forth, shout joyfully together,
You waste places of Jerusalem;
For the Lord has comforted His people,
He has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared His holy arm
In the sight of all the nations,
That all the ends of the earth may see
The salvation of our God.
Depart, depart, go out from there,
Touch nothing unclean;
Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves,
You who carry the vessels of the Lord.
But you will not go out in haste,
Nor will you go as fugitives;
For the Lord will go before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard."
 - Isaiah 52:7-12

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