The View From 1776
Monday, February 25, 2008
God’s Will for Your Future
There is an antidote to the feckless way too many of us live our lives.
Pastor Steve Treash at the Black Rock-Long Ridge Congregational Church (North Stamford, Connecticut) continued his examination of God’s will for our lives. His focus this Sunday was God’s will for our future.
The inescapable point is that God holds the clock on our lives. He knows when each of us is to die. We should know that dying without Jesus Christ is to consign our souls to eternal damnation.
What are our guideposts on the necessary spiritual journey?
First, Jesus is coming back. This is stated roughly 300 times in the New Testament.
So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:6-11)
This is the very bedrock of Christian faith. Upon this is established the Christian paradigm of life, the foundation upon which Christians see the unfolding of events in the world as constituting a meaningful pattern: the manifestation to humans of God’s presence in the cosmos. In the words of John 1:1—
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
The darkness that cannot understand the light of God’s Word is the secular and atheistic paradigm of liberal-progressive-socialism. That paradigm is one in which all that we experience is the product of random chance, evolving in a Darwinian, mechanistic way that is triumphantly proclaimed by liberal-progressives to be meaningless, in a pattern that emphatically denies the existence of any intelligent design in the world. That paradigm is one in which each person is little more than an isolated bit of matter racketed about by unpredictable external, material forces. That paradigm looks upon life itself as just another accident. That paradigm offers no hope, no purpose for our lives.
In fact, however, God has a plan for the world and for us.
Second, when Jesus returns, both the living and the dead who are in Him will receive eternal life.
But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. (1 Thessalonians 5:8-10)
Without God’s love, we all are lost sinners. Those who are in Christ have accepted Him as their personal savior through His death on the cross.
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished