In a recent sermon, titled “How it Will Be As God?”, we attempted to show, from the Biblical revelation, the extent of man’s future. The sermon is posted on our Webpage.
Our hope for the future is not so much summarized with the concept of “ruling,” than it is with beautifying life and with guiding and helping others to live a peaceful life, in accordance with God’s Way (compare Isaiah 2:1-5).
We are looking forward to the end of this physical life and Christ’s return, because of the great hope of salvation and glory set before us (that we actually will be God — a literal member of the very God Family). We do so in spite of the present trials and the temporary Great Tribulation yet ahead for this world. We know that God’s love will never allow us to go through something that is too difficult for us to handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). Christ promised us: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption [including freedom from pain and suffering] draws near” (Luke 21:28).
Satan (originally known as Lucifer) was perfect at the time of his creation — the “seal of perfection” and “perfect in [his] ways” (Ezekiel 28:12, 15), but he was created with free moral agency; that is, he could choose. He was given rulership over this earth, but he became proud and wanted more — he wanted to rule the entire universe, knocking the God of the universe off His throne. It appears that Lucifer would have been given that rulership anyhow, in time, but God wanted to see first how he was doing on earth. When he rebelled, he disqualified himself from ruling over the universe — and even over the earth, but he had to stay in power, until a Man would qualify to replace him. The first Adam failed, but the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, succeeded, overcoming Satan and sin in the flesh. Still, Satan is allowed to stay on his earthly throne, until Christ comes back. In the meantime, God calls some out of this world, to overcome this world, sin and Satan, so that they, too, can enter the Kingdom at Christ’s return.
In order to meditate on what to look forward to, let us first look at all the things in our lives now that are painful; that we don’t like; that we want to go away. Whatever it is – – it will all be gone. Whatever we may dream of (subject, of course, to it being right and good and not against God’s Way of Life), we will receive.
Let us notice some of these promises:
Psalm 16:11: “In Your presence is FULLNESS of joy; At Your right hand are PLEASURES FOREVERMORE.”
Matthew 25:21: “I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the JOY of your lord.”
Psalm 30:5: “Weeping may endure for a night (the darkness of this world in which we are living today), But JOY comes in the morning (when Christ, the morning star, appears on this earth).”
Revelation 21:4: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain.”
Isaiah 35:10: “And the ransomed of the LORD shall… come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
Isaiah 9:7: “Of the increase of His government and PEACE There will be no end…”
Christ is telling us that we can have His joy and inner peace in our hearts today, if we cast our burdens on Him and let Him carry them (compare Matthew 11:28-30) — in spite of our present tribulations. He has given us the following promises:
John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.”
John 15:11: “These things I have spoken to you, that MY JOY may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
John 16:20: “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned to joy.”
John 16:24: “ASK, and you WILL receive, that your joy may be full.”
John 16:33: “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.”
Christ also said that He had overcome Satan; that Satan had nothing in Him. Today, Satan is like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. He is broadcasting feelings of discouragement, hate, anger, hopelessness and despair. Discouragement and a lack of hope for our ultimate future come from Satan. He failed, and he does not want anyone else to make it. That is why he has GREAT WRATH toward God’s elect, knowing that his time is short (Revelation 12:12; compare, too, verse 17). But we are told that the devil and his demons cannot separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39), and that God in us is MIGHTIER and GREATER AND MORE POWERFUL than the devil.
Paul tells us how we can overcome Satan, and that the end of his rule on earth is sure:
Ephesians 6:11: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against [demonic powers].”
Romans 16:20: “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.”
When we feel Satan’s influence in our lives, we must act like Christ, who told Satan during His temptation: “Away with you, Satan” (Matthew 4:10).
We also read in James 4:7-8: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he WILL FLEE from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Also Ephesians 4:27: “Give no place to the devil.” Paul warned that we are not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices, so that he cannot take advantage of us (compare 2 Corinthians 2:11).
This means that we are not to entertain his ideas or his thoughts of discouragement. God has in store for us a wonderful life far beyond human imagination. Satan knows this, and he tries to make sure that we either don’t grasp our incredible human potential, or that we lose clear vision for our future. He disqualified himself, because he was not content with what God had offered and given him at that time, and he wanted more. He convinced Eve to follow his example, desiring to receive right away what God had not offered her at that time. We must not make the same mistake. Knowing the great love of God for us, we know that our future is going to be breathtaking, joyful and peaceful beyond our wildest dreams. We will be able to really HELP others and free them from suffering and pain. With that motivation and vision, we can truly pray to God with all conviction: “Your Kingdom Come.”