The End, the Start, and the Middle

 Three Questions Re: Final Future, Present Day, and Intermediate Future

  1. How do you feel about becoming one of the growing COVID-19 statistics listed under Active Cases or even recorded under Deaths? Yeah, knowing that at age 82, I am part of the “vulnerable group” I do have some feelings about this.
  2. Are you getting tired of the information flood telling you things like, “Stay home, wash your hands, wear a facemask, and keep two metres away?” Yeah, me too.
  3. What are your thoughts about the endless predictions of the New Normal, and the ever-changing plans to move towards it? Yeah, they are talking about the rest of our lives, I have many thoughts.

Our Final Future
If we have become God’s children through faith in Jesus’ death for us, many of our negative feelings dissipate. Since God is in control of this world, then, as His children, we know we are in His care, today, tomorrow, and at the end of our life, no matter what happens or when. We also know that because of Jesus’ resurrection, we will receive new bodies that will never die. Our Final Future will be glorious. One of my favourite descriptions of our future end is in Revelation 21, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” We can be sure of our Final Future.

Our Present Day
We can also be fairly sure of the Present Day. God gave us today and gave us the choice of how we want to live, work, plan, communicate, and act in the Present. Although God gave us a free will to choose, He also gave us a purpose for living. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And love your neighbour as yourself.” Jesus also assured us of His help and His presence as we live our lives. “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.” So how do we love God and love our neighbours in this present day? Build a relationship with others and help meet their needs as if we were meeting Jesus’ needs. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Our Intermediate Future
Now, what about our Intermediate Future, that unknown, “anything could happen” stretch between the Present Day and the Final Future? First of all, as believers, we are not to worry, fret, or be apprehensive about the weeks, months and years ahead. We are not to fear the future. “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Your Father in heaven knows that you need them.” Luke 12:22, 25, 26.

This doesn’t mean we should not confidently plan and diligently work towards providing for ourselves and our families. But as we plan and work, God has a requirement: recognize that He is in ultimate control

Living in Brazil, we often heard the expression, Se Deus quiser. “If God wants/wills.” For several centuries English incorporated a Latin term Deo Volente, ‘God Willing’ usually abbreviated as DV. “I expect to arrive before dark, DV.” But our secularized society no longer recognizes God’s sovereignty over plans and actions. Even as Christians, when we plan, we tend to forget that God is in total control. We have gotten out of the habit of saying, “If it is the Lord’s will, I will live and do this or that.” James 4:15. Without keeping God’s ultimate authority in mind, we talk enthusiastically about our plans and work. Here’s His opinion: “You boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.” James 4:16.

In the Present Day, during this pandemic as Christians, we need to more than ever, love God with all our heart and love our neighbour as we love ourselves. Only then will we have the confidence to live each day knowing Jesus is present, that He wants us to cast all our care on Him, and step out in faith into the unknown Intermediate Future. At the end of which is a glorious Final Future!