Over the weekend I spent some time at our church's prophecy conference and was able to set my mind on future eschatological events, but to be honest the idea of living in light of life beyond this earth has been wrestling in my soul for quite sometime.
And while I fight against dispensationalism, yet submit to every pre-trib argument while not understanding the Greek words behind them, there is one thing I do know:
THE END OF THE STORY.
Jesus reigns for all time.
And we will be with him.
Forever. And ever.
But that reality is hard to grasp.
What's harder is living like I believe that it's true.
Because if I really believed that this world is. not. it. this would be true of me:
- I would invite suffering and discomfort, knowing that ultimately trials are what purifies and sanctifies me (1 Peter 1:6-7). Holiness is always the goal (1 Thessalonians 4:3). And for me to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). Really believing this would bring me great joy.
- I'd be embolden to take risks. To not live in the middle of mediocrity. I would be bold about my faith with others who believe and think differently. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). It would cause me to ask hard, spiritual questions of friends. Because as I'm whole-heartly serving and trusting him - nothing (not criticism nor condemnation) will separate me from his love (Romans 8:39).
- I would keep on fighting. And always put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). This life is war. Against our flesh (our minds). Against the goofy things in this world. And against Satan. Knowing the fight is not forever and the war has already been won, gives me strength to keep on keeping on.
- My prayers for people would be drastically different, because at the forefront of my mind would be this idea that I would be spending the rest of forever with them. As in, when we're all enjoying the new heaven and new earth together, I will look over and think - I prayed that they would be like this for God's glory. And that excites me.
- I would love sacrificially for other's eternal good. Things wouldn't be about me. And sometimes this might mean not enabling people. It might me confronting a friend in deep care and concern for their soul. It definitely means giving up what my flesh wants for what the good of my neighbors. Loving people is loving God. And people are the only thing we really take with us.
- Also, I'd be content and incredibly thankful. It would free me from worry and doubt. Because God is sovereign. He is ultimate. His plan is ultimate. And what he wills will be done (Matthew 6:10). It should cause me to cease striving, knowing that he is God (Psalm 46:10).
And while often I don't remember that the war has been won, there is something inside of me that understands that there is much, much more to life than the fading ground we walk on, every once in awhile I getting a taste, a glimpse, of what it's like to live in light of eternity. And for that I rejoice.