Is There Hope for the Future
It’s no secret that Planet Earth is a mess these days. Major news networks almost constantly carry shocking reports of deadly natural disasters, terrorist atrocities, violent crimes, political corruption, and economic woes. We hear of spiraling heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, even among young children. Such boiler-point pressures are taking their toll on everyone seeking to maintain sanity amid chaos.
Even if you and your family have managed to escape many of these difficulties, most homes still struggle with daily living. Countless fathers have so many bills to pay that they spend little quality time with their children. Many mothers are so overwhelmed with home responsibilities that they often sink beneath the strain. Caught in the middle of previously unimaginable stresses, children grow up too fast, face tougher times in school, and often develop harmful habits. Many kids spend thousands of hours playing addicting video games, some of which have inspired violent crimes. Instant Internet access also exposes even young boys and girls to bizarre sexual temptations that contaminate the soul. What can concerned parents do? What kind of world will our kids inherit? Is there any real hope for the future?
Prophecies and Promises
If life on earth is weighing you down, have you considered looking up? As amazing as it seems, the Bible contains stunning prophecies that not only pinpoint our chaotic generation (see 2 Timothy 3:1-5), but also offer hope for everyone. In that sacred volume, God Himself has an ultimate solution for our out-of-control world. He soon will send Jesus Christ back to earth to right all wrongs, destroy evil, and usher in permanent peace. Based on current signs being fulfilled all around us (see Luke 21:25-28), that Day is coming soon.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus was about to die an agonizing death on the cross for our sins, be buried, rise, and ascend to heaven (see Mark 15 and 16). Just before all this, Jesus left us with this promise:
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:1-3).
Did you catch that? “I will come again,” our Savior promised. But how will He come? By reincarnating Himself? By appearing as a ghost? No. The Bible is clear that Jesus Christ’s return will be cataclysmic, highly visible, and exceedingly loud. His coming will result in the physical resurrection of dead people worldwide. Paul wrote:
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
According to Paul, when Jesus returns to earth, His feet won’t even touch the ground. On the contrary, God’s people will be “caught up” to Him. So if you see someone walking around on earth claiming to be Christ, don’t be fooled. It won’t be Him, but an imposter (see Matthew 24:24-27). Adding more clarity, Peter also predicted:
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. . . . Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:10, 13).
A Total Remake
Notice that Heaven’s plan isn’t to slap a Band-Aid on a global crisis. God won’t use peace treaties, the United Nations, earthly governments, moral legislation, law enforcement officers, or any proposal initiated by fallen men to permanently solve earth’s deadly woes. Ultimately, such measures won’t work anyway. Instead, He will utterly eradicate evil by melting “the elements . . . with fervent heat.” All pollution, global toxicity, gross immorality, and wickedness will be “burned up.” Then God Himself will recreate “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” Now don’t miss this:
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, for the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:4-5).
How exciting! In spite of the dreariness we observe around us, there’s hope for us all. Amid trials that thicken daily, God longs for us to look up! Don’t be discouraged. Read His book. Pray. Confess your sins. Trust Jesus. He will forgive and help you.
Yet make no mistake about this one thing: Until Jesus returns, life won’t be a picnic in the park. Lucifer remains intensely active behind the scenes (see Revelation 12:12). The Bible even warns that our ancient enemy will attempt to counterfeit Jesus’ return by using “all [his] power, signs, and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Don’t be duped by the devil.
God’s word is clear. “Behold, He [Jesus Christ] is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7, emphasis added). Jesus Himself also predicted that He will descend in the clouds “in the glory of His Father with His angels” (Matthew 16:27). Clearly, nobody will miss it. As myriads of powerful angels escort the King of Kings back to earth, no one will mistake His arrival. So again, don’t be seduced by satanic counterfeits—even ones that work miracles.
Dear friend, although there is no earthly solution to earth’s unsolvable woes, take heart. God knows our difficulties, trials, and struggles. “Let not your heart be troubled” is our Savior’s encouraging word to each of us. He has made an unbreakable promise: “I will come again” (John 14:3). Until then, don’t give up. Hold on. Pray for your friends and relatives who need God’s grace. The good Lord will hear your prayers. With His help, be a shining light in the surrounding darkness. “The darker the night,” someone wisely stated, “the brighter the stars.”
Until Jesus returns, “be strong in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:10). When King Jesus returns, He Himself will establish everlasting peace in God’s new earth.
Will you be there?
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Cover image: ©www.iStockphoto.com.