Do you remember the song Alfie from 1966 and its famous question: “What’s it all about?” I recently asked similar questions in regard to my writing: “Why does it matter?”
Why did I start a blog? Why do I seek to add followers to my blog so publishers will notice me? Why do I want to write a book about our thrilling hope? Why?
The Lord refreshed my purpose earlier this week as I read the teaching of a popular viewpoint regarding future things, one that teaches Jesus returned to earth in AD 70 as promised in Matthew 24 and in Revelation 19-20. As I read how they see all New Testament prophecy as having been fulfilled in the first century, the Lord stirred my heart. How dare they distort our hope of resurrection described in 1 Corinthians 15 into something spiritual rather than physical? How dare they twist God's Word in such a way?
In 1 Corinthians 15:19 Paul said, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” What I read earlier this week puts all our future expectations back into this life. Take away our future hope of being forever changed as described in I Corinthians 15:42-54 and we are indeed as Paul described, “most to be pitied.” All we are left with is making the most of this life, just as with everyone else around us. Take away our expectation of the future physical resurrection promised in 1 Corinthians 15 and we have no more hope than the atheist walking next to us on the street.
So why do I write? My writing stems from a passion that we as believers be focused on our joyous hope for eternity as well as this life. I need this. I sense others need this as well. Our hope is certain; we will be changed to be like Jesus and spend a joyous eternity with Him!!
I write because of two powerful forces working today to draw all our attention to this life.
First, the errant teaching of many directs our hope to the things of this life. Many today even proclaim that Revelation 21-22 has been fulfilled (or is currently being fulfilled) in a mysterious symbolical or spiritual way. Can you see how such an allegorical view of Revelation obscures the essence of our eternal hope leaves us with so little hope beyond this fleeting moment of time? Can you see how this robs us of joy regarding eternity?
Scripture tells us that as believers, we are “joint-heirs” with Christ (Rom. 8:17, KJV); we will reign with Jesus in His kingdom (Rev. 20:6). Those who deny the Lord His rightful place as future King over all the earth transform this thrilling hope of reigning with Christ into something rather stale by comparison. Where is the hope of reigning with Christ if that equals our current existence where we suffer, grow old, get sick, and die? Is our fleeting earthly life really the full extent of what it means to reign with Christ?
Secondly, the silence of our churches regarding our thrilling hope emphasizes this life over our hope for eternity. Many churches today scarcely mention our hope of eternity apart from a quick comment here and there about eternal life. The church I grew up devoted entire weeks to prophecy conferences. Now, the details of our hope are scarcely mentioned, if at all, from our pulpits.
It’s great to hear sound biblical teaching on marriage, good parenting, stewardship, and godly living. This is needed. Without a two-world perspective, however, these things quickly become our hope rather than Jesus' appearing.
The danger arises when we focus our hope on temporal results where so many factors, including the sinful choices of ourselves and others, negatively impact the outcomes we so greatly desire. The New Testament teaches believers to expect trials and difficult times in this life (James 1:2-3; 1 Pet. 1:6, 4:12-13). If our ultimate hope is in this life, we will be sorely disappointed. Our hope dashed with each painful trial.
I am writing because so many of the voices we hear today keep our hearts earthbound with messages that inspire hope for only this life, this fleeting moment of time.
Our best life is not now, but the silence of so many churches regarding our eternal joy proclaims that exact message loud and clear.
My desire in all my blogging and writing is to draw our attention away from the fleeting realities of this life to the eternal realities of heaven. I am not sure where this path will lead. All I can do is follow the Father’s call that I sense in my heart and leave the end result with Him