In the midst of the craziness which is today’s world, we all need comfort, we all need encouragement and we need inspiration. Where do we go for that?
For God’s Church, for the body of Christ, it means looking forward. Our view of life obviously should be a very positive view, because it’s based on what God has shown us, what He has revealed to us. The “world view” of a follower of God should be shaped by God’s word, of course, and it should be one of encouragement, of comfort and of inspiration. The ultimate result of our lives today — what we’re looking forward to — is the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom on this earth. We should be working very hard to get in line with what God expects of us. It is extremely important that we do so; that we get in line with God, that we strengthen our relationship with our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ and with God the Father.
We are looking forward to a time when God’s Kingdom will be here on this earth, when the millennium has “broken out”, so to speak; when God will be ruling. And we must look forward to that, because it is yet in the future. Before that future reality occurs, lives have to be led, bills have to be paid, the clock has to be punched, the children have to be taken to school. We have to go grocery shopping. A lot of seemingly mundane activities, but they are part of life and life goes on.
In the midst of life “going on”, in the midst of doing all of these things, we cannot forget the future view, the future perspective that we need to have. The greatest consolation for us can and should be remembering what God’s purpose for us is, a reminder of His revelation to us. This gives us the ability to develop an appropriate view of the future. That is what will give us hope, encouragement and inspiration. The Apostle Paul gives us some fundamental instruction in 1 Corinthians, where he tells us that “If in this life only we have hope in Christ we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:19).
If this life is all there is, it ends with our death, it’s over. But thankfully, we know that there’s a great deal more to it. For at least a couple of years now we have spoken in sermons and written about the fact that we need to take personal responsibility for our relationship with God the Father and how very important that is – and it is indeed. That is the here and now. We should be working toward getting in line with God the Father and doing that with great diligence. But we must not forget the future. We must not forget the comfort and the hope that comes from knowing what the future holds. We know that the gospel of the Kingdom is to be preached until the end of the age. We’re learning more and more about that as we go along and what kind of personal responsibility the gospel puts on us as individuals to be the kind of individuals we should be. And it all culminates in Christ’s return. That is prophetic. That is in the future. That is something that is yet to happen.
Let us take comfort, be encouraged and be inspired by the future which God has in store for us and for all of mankind.
— Cliff Veal