Do you ever wonder what the future might hold for you? And does the thought ever make you a little afraid, even though you know the One who holds it? Many times we spend our future in anxiety and worry – a costly pastime that yields no dividend. Every minute spent in anxiety over anything reduces the future by a minute. I can’t think of anything as sneaky as time (the devil perhaps!): it just ticks by, and before you know it, days, weeks, months, and years go by.
Sometimes you have a dream and you think it can only come to pass in the ‘future’ because you don’t have the money, means, etc. So you keep it warm with worry in your heart, waiting for it to hatch someday. From time to time you talk about it, and express your worry that you still don’t have the means to bring it to pass. But you do nothing about it. And one day you suddenly realise that the future you thought was so far away is right at your doorstep, and you are not prepared to meet it. The summary is that we must begin to prepare for the future starting from the minute we have now.
1 John 3:1-3 says: Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
The bible says that now, this minute, we are children of God; but what we shall be in future (the total picture) we do not yet know. What we do know is that we shall be like Jesus when He comes again, and our eyes shall see Him. This is the believer’s hope: the hope of the Christian faith. And the bible counsels that if indeed you have this hope, then you’d better be prepared to meet the future. It is not just a matter of wishing that you would go with Christ when He comes. The question is: what preparation are you making to meet Him?
This is wisdom: whoever has this hope to see Jesus should purify himself as Christ is pure. There is no other acceptable standard. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. The hope to see Jesus is a purifying hope. It motivates you to cleanse your heart and pursue godliness. When you have this hope you do not complain when you hear the truth that can make you free from sin; you don’t wrinkle your nose and say ‘Ugh! This stuff is too preachy,’ and turn your heart away from it. You do not grumble and give the excuse that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak; you bring the flesh to subjection so that it does not eventually subject you to eternal punishment in future.
It is not enough to be faithful to church attendance. It is not enough to take down notes religiously during every bible study. It is not even enough to have a form of godliness: we must acknowledge its power by being godly. How ready is your heart for a future with Christ? The Word says that if we are not pure as Christ is the future holds shame for us (1 John 2:28) – not your portion or mine! But if to you holiness is millennium unfriendly, then you have cause to be afraid of the future; for without it no one sees God. Whatever you achieve here on earth is in vain if at last you miss God.
Let’s make time to prepare to meet the hope God has planned for us. Remember, the future is as close as the next minute. Procrastination could be dangerous.