'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
"And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being]." - Romans 8:30
Why, or for what, has God foreordained me? Why did He call me? Why did He justify, put me in right standing with Himself? Why is my glorification accomplished? Even if true, why would God glorify me? Someone recently remarked to me that they believed that when your dead, your dead. Oblivion. No consciousness. Dust to dust. So, what is the point of becoming a Christian? Sometimes God’s servants in an attempting to explain to those unfamiliar with what God is really doing with this earth hear something like this: "WHY should I care about "going to heaven" when I die in order to just float on a cloud continually with a harp in my hand - I can’t stand harp music anyway!"
Although the assumption is incorrect, the objection to the question is logical. And it is one that at least in part can be answered now in this life. What may be awaiting those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ is something that even the most doubtful and cynical would give anything and everything to experience if they could understand - and believe. Often even Christians become so preoccupied with being Christians that we do not pause to consider the "recompense of the reward".
The Apostle Paul said that there are three great and sustaining spiritual principles: Faith, Hope, and Love. In the previous series we saw from the Apostle Peter how to reach the pinnacle of the ultimate character trait - the love of God. We saw that the first and foundational principle leading to Jesus being formed in us is Faith. Today, we will explore "Hope"- with the view to encouragement and anticipation - for those who believe, and HOPEFULLY for those who may not now believe in Jesus Christ, but will, when they see and comprehend the enormity of what will be lost, and the enormity of what God wants to finally GIVE them.
What does the future hold for those who truly belong to Jesus Christ - beyond today’s troublesome and even frightening events, for those who have surrendered all to God through Jesus? Whatever it is, it is only given to those who have truly surrendered ALL. (2 Timothy 2:19), and have been resurrected and changed into immortals. God’s Word gives many indications, and although much must be held in mental suspension (Acts 1:7-8), some things are indicated strongly. God does not intend for us to establish "doctrines" based on a hint or a hopeful anticipation, but certain indications are there, to encourage, strengthen, and sustain us, and to give us hope - and - not a little excitement!
Most are familiar with Jesus’ promise of various rewards based upon spiritual growth in the character of Christ - the parable of the pounds, and the parable of the talents (Luke 19:12-26; Matthew 25:15-28). These promises are certain, although no details are given. In our present human state, some things are not necessary - or good - for us know. Also, this allows flexibility within God's sovereignty in His plan for those whom He created in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). Most are familiar in one way or another with the millennial rule of Jesus for a thousand years here on earth - a time of unimaginable worldwide peace and prosperity. But prior to this, a worldwide dictator will emerge on the world scene based upon a world economic and political deception, along with a monolithic false religion under one supreme head. World wars, persecutions, along with many other events are indicated to occur. Some rewards of ruling Jesus has already specifically given to the Apostles (Matthew 19:28). Others among God’s resurrected children are to govern several cities, which would suggest that other responsibilities will be given.
When we allow our minds to expand farther into the future - past the millennium and other surrounding events, then what...? What are we to do? Whatever it is, there is an eternity in which to do it! That is a LONG TIME, although the word "time" will be much less relevant.
SO - WHAT IN ETERNITY ARE WE TO DO?!
Although there is much disagreement as to whether space is eternal or not, let us for the sake of this article assume that the universe is endless (it seems to be still expanding). Why is there in mankind this deep down fixation with a "race for space", aside from military considerations, etc. The obsession in the heart of man to explore, to go where no one else has been, to conquer lands, peoples, the sea and mountain heights. When asked why of one mountain climber, his only response was "because its there!" Perhaps it is the same for those obsessed with space and the universe - just "because its there". All of man’s curiosity and desires to know are not evil. They are evil in how, when, and for what purpose, and by whose direction they are used! And they cannot be used correctly until Jesus Christ’s character is formed in them! (Galatians 4:19)
After Jesus returns, after the Millennium and all that surrounds it, after the new Jerusalem descends to this earth (Revelation 21:1-5), then - what will we DO? All of the glorious things listed in Revelation 21 will continue FOREVER! However, astronomers admit that, although in many ways the Universe is beautiful, it is in chaos. The surface of planets, etc. in billions upon billions of galaxies are in a waste condition, stars are formed by Almighty God and allowed to eventually die. Now black holes have been discovered, with some mysterious purposes, still known only to God. As to why they are in this condition is perplexing. I would like to suggest some possible hints about the reason for some of the conditions existing in space (Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:13-18; Luke 10:18).
As can be seen, God apparently continues to create in His Universe. Regarding this we might again ask the question - why? Is it only to give Him and the angels something to do? Possibly - you see, God loves to create new things, too! However, this seems to open us up to the assertion mention above: "your God is too small"! At this time, man’s design for space exploration is limited by the problem of his mortality. Spirit beings are not limited by space and time continuums...God’s children will be spirit. They will not be limited by anything in the physical realm.
Could it be - could it possibly be that God is preparing for the future occupations of His children, to work with Him in His activities in endless creating, in an endless universe, endlessly...?
Such possibilities are as unimaginable as they are endless! Granted, these are speculations, in the main, but even if it is not to be exactly like this, whatever it could be, it will be even more...! (1 Corinthians 2:9)
"I have told you before what I sometimes dream shall be my lot in glory - to stand not here, and preach to a handful of peoploe, though it be verily a large handful, but to stand upon some starry orb, and preach of Christ to whole constellations at once, and thunder our my remembrances of his sweet love to myriads of beings who have never heard of him as yet, for they have never sinned, but who will drink in all the tidings of what Jesus did for sinful men. And each of you according to your training for it, shall make known to angels, and principalities, and powers, the manifold wisdom of God. There is plenty of room for you all, for God’s universe will need millions upon millions of messengers to go through it all, and tell our story of redeeming love. And we, I believe are here in training for that eternal work of making known to illimitable regions of space, and countless myriads of intelligent beings whom God has created, but who have never fallen, the story of this little planet, and of the God who love it so that he came here, and dies that he might save this people from their sins" - Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-92) - Daniel 12:3
Will you be there...?
"And the teachers and those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the fermament, and those who turn many to rightousness (to uprightness and right standing with God) [shall give forth light] like the stars forever and ever!" - Daniel 12:3
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