by Grant Hawley
When we look around the world, sometimes it's hard not to get down about what's happening. People have never really gotten along as a general rule, but it just seems to be getting worse. People get angry at other people over the silliest things and it too often results in violence. Add to that sickness, immorality, rampant political corruption, and tragic accidents, and it isn't a very pretty picture.
The Bible's view of the world is the same as what we all see with our own eyes. The Apostle John said, "...the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one" (1 John 5:19), and Paul actually calls Satan "the god of this age" (2 Cor 4:4).
So, what? Just give up?
No. We have reason to hope. We have more reason to hope than we can even wrap our minds around. Our hope is found in the sure promise that our Lord is coming back. And when He comes, we will all see Him in His fullness of glory. He said, "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory" (Matt 25:31).
When He returns, He will take His throne. This world will be governed by the One who is perfect in righteousness—Who created this world, Who sustains it by His power, and Who died to redeem it from corruption. And His bureaucracy, His co-rulers, will be made up of the saints from all the ages that loved the brothers and walked faithfully with Him. Finally, this world will have a righteous government, one that sits upon His shoulders.
When Paul talked about this, he said:
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. (Phil 3:20-21)
What that means is, while we live here, we are sojourners, aliens. We don't really belong to this world, we belong in heaven where Christ is, and where we have been seated in Him (Eph 2:6). And when He comes, He will transform our "lowly body" so that we will be like Him, full of glory, powerful, and unable to sin. In fact, this whole world will be transformed into the Eden that God intended in the beginning (Rom 8:19-21).
So if we understand all of this, of course we will wait eagerly. It will be better than any experience we can imagine and it will last forever.
The lives that we live now affect the fullness of our experience then. Every single person who believes in Jesus Christ has everlasting life and will spend eternity in His presence, but not every believer will inherit the Kingdom when He returns. Jesus said, "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne" (Rev 3:21). This is a conditional promise. We have to overcome if we want to sit down with Christ on His throne in the Kingdom.
So, how do we overcome? That's another bit of good news, Jesus has already overcome the world. He said, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). He made this statement after telling His disciples that He would come in the Holy Spirit to live inside of them, to meet their needs for love, joy, and peace (John 14:27; 15:9, 11). All we need to do is to abide in Him by faith (believing what's true).
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal 2:20).
So, when the world around us seems so dark, the Light of the world, Jesus Christ, is the light we need to see and to help others see. And when He returns, His light will scrub the darkness out of this whole earth.
Live in the present. Live for the future. Live His perfect life, and rejoice in the great Hope that is coming.
"He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming quickly.' Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen" (Rev 22:20-21).