Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:10-13
There is a sense in which the study of prophecy does for us what travelling into space has done for the scientific world. Scientists have learned much about our world by going outside it through space travel, and looking back. They have learned things about the human body, weather patterns, and the location of natural resources to name but a few. Things, which they would never have learned had they not broken free from an earthbound perspective! In a similar way Bible prophecy carries us out into the future, and gives a perspective on our world we would otherwise not have. That perspective helps us make better sense of our day, and the world we live in. This heavenly mindedness is intended to make us of greater earthly use.
As we have said, the Bible is constantly moving us beyond the moment we live in, and the world that surrounds us. The Scripture teems with prophetic material, about the end times, and the Second Coming of Christ, and the life to come. The long tomorrow that lies beyond momentary day! Prophecy occupies about one fourth of all Scripture, much of it related to the return of Christ to earth. It is a dominant theme in seventeen Old Testament books. Only three out of the twenty-seven New Testament books do not mention Christ's Second Advent. Interestingly, every chapter in 1 and 2 Thessalonians closes with a reference to the impending return of Christ. Given the wealth of that material, and the consistency of that focus, it is clear that the Bible does not want us to stop thinking about tomorrow. The present day must be lived, eagerly and expectantly, in the light of these future realities. And what we learn about the future must inform, and transform all that we do today. As C. S. Lewis has said, "Those who have done the most in this life are those who have thought the most about the next."
Thinking about tomorrow's world should shape our thinking, and direct our living in several ways. One, fulfilled prophecy should give us a greater confidence in the veracity of God's word (Acts 13:32-35, 42-44). Two, the thought of Jesus' soon return should cause us to be serious about our walk with God (1 Peter 4:7-9; 2 Peter 3:11-13). Three, the study of prophecy gives us a backbone to endure trials (James 5:7-11). Four, the thought of future resurrection, and the reunion of God's people which takes place at the Rapture brings hope to the bereaved and brokenhearted (1 Thess. 4:13-18). Five, prophecy assures us that the unjust persecution of the church will not go unpunished by God (2 Thess. 1:5-10). Six, prophecy excites our passion for Christ who is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 1:1-3; 19:10). Seven, the truth of Jesus' soon return fans the flame of our evangelistic endeavors (Matt. 24:14). Don't stop thinking about tomorrow! Take an interest in the future for that is where you will spend the rest of your life.
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