God’s Will for Your Future

-By Thomas E. Brewton

There is an antidote to the feckless way too many of us live our lives.

Pastor Steve Treash at the Black Rock-Long Ridge Congregational Church (North Stamford, Connecticut) continued his examination of God’s will for our lives. His focus this Sunday was God’s will for our future.

The inescapable point is that God holds the clock on our lives. He knows when each of us is to die. We should know that dying without Jesus Christ is to consign our souls to eternal damnation.

What are our guideposts on the necessary spiritual journey?

First, Jesus is coming back. This is stated roughly 300 times in the New Testament.

So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:6-11)

This is the very bedrock of Christian faith. Upon this is established the Christian paradigm of life, the foundation upon which Christians see the unfolding of events in the world as constituting a meaningful pattern: the manifestation to humans of God’s presence in the cosmos. In the words of John 1:1 —

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

The darkness that cannot understand the light of God’s Word is the secular and atheistic paradigm of liberal-progressive-socialism. That paradigm is one in which all that we experience is the product of random chance, evolving in a Darwinian, mechanistic way that is triumphantly proclaimed by liberal-progressives to be meaningless, in a pattern that emphatically denies the existence of any intelligent design in the world. That paradigm is one in which each person is little more than an isolated bit of matter racketed about by unpredictable external, material forces. That paradigm looks upon life itself as just another accident. That paradigm offers no hope, no purpose for our lives.

In fact, however, God has a plan for the world and for us.

Second, when Jesus returns, both the living and the dead who are in Him will receive eternal life.

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. (1 Thessalonians 5:8-10)

Without God’s love, we all are lost sinners. Those who are in Christ have accepted Him as their personal savior through His death on the cross.

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:22-26)

Being in Christ means, for each of us, to receive God’s forgiveness. We cannot earn it on our own.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Third, those who die and are not in Christ are lost and separated forever from God.

Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3)

Fourth, it is God’s will that we not fear death and that we not grieve for the death of others as do those not in Christ. Grief is inherent in human nature, but followers of Christ have faith and hope of eternal life, when we shall all be rejoined.

Shortly after the Apostle Paul founded the new church at Thessalonica, he was forced to flee the city. Without his counsel, many in the congregation had questions about Christian life, death, and life after death. To answer and to comfort them, he wrote:

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Fifth, God’s will for our future is that we have eternal life, for which he sent his only begotten son to die for our sins upon the cross, enabling each of us to choose to follow Jesus and to receive God’s love and our eternal life.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. (John 3:16-21)

To love God is to obey Him; to obey Him is to receive eternal life.
Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

His weblog is THE VIEW FROM 1776 http://www.thomasbrewton.com/

Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Thomas E. Brewton

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