What the Future Holds
Steven L. Johnson
Tomorrow means different things to different people, especially when the return of Christ is in view. The anticipation of tomorrow is different for the man on death row than it is for a bridegroom. There have no doubt been nights when you were awake in bed dreading the rising of the sun. Perhaps it was to be your duty to lay off employees, or to have a court appearing. In such cases “tomorrow” was not something you looked forward to, for it represented an event which was about to occur in your life that was unpleasant. At other times you were awake in bed, and couldn’t wait for the sun to appear over the horizon, for “tomorrow” was bringing with it a much longed for moment in the history of your life. Family vacations, fishing trips, holiday celebrations, and the arrival of anticipated company have all stirred many of us to anticipate “tomorrow.”
Generally speaking, when we use the term “tomorrow” we refer to an anticipated time during which certain events will happen. Some of these events are today just an idea, but linked with “tomorrow,” in our minds they are as good as reality. Paul gave us hope for the future with these words, “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (I Thessalonians 4:16-18).
“Tomorrow” also holds events of which we have no concept happening in our lives. They are not on our schedule, and are totally unanticipated. This is why Proverbs 27:1 states, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Jesus told the story of a rich man who thought he knew what tomorrow would be like. In fact, in his mind, he knew what years of tomorrows would be like. This rich man said, “This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Luke 12:19, 20).
We need to prepare for tomorrow. If God is left out of our plans for the future, then our tomorrow will not be a pleasant experience. This is why Jesus said the rich man was called a fool. He laid up treasure for himself, but he was not rich toward God. The Christian must never allow himself to be forgetful of the future, or the fact that today is linked to tomorrow. This is what Paul referred to when he said, “knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:11-14). To enter into tomorrow in a right manner, we must sever ourselves from what is not of God. Basically Paul was encouraging us to get rid of all sinful motives and actions, and surround ourselves with the Lord as our armour. Notice Paul links casting off the works of darkness with putting on the armour of “light.” The Bible tells us that God is light (I John 1:5). This is why Paul tells us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and not make provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. We will either enter into tomorrow clothed with the works of darkness, or with the Lord himself as our armour. Our clothing will determine our identity and destination upon death. When a soldier dies on the battlefield, his uniform identifies which group he will be forever associated with. It also determines his destination, for if it is possible, he will be sent to his home for his final resting-place.
Don’t play the part of a fool, leaving God out of your life. God will hear your plea for victory over sin. In fact, He is calling to you today. “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2). Today you can be prepared for tomorrow. To do this you must believe the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16), and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ (II Thessalonians 1:7, 8). The proper way of obeying the gospel message is found in Acts 2:38.
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Acts 2:38-39 (KJV)
“Tomorrow” (in the sense of the future), Jesus is coming back to the earth. I Thess. 5:1-5 says, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
It’s almost tomorrow, but until the day dawns there is still time for conversion and consecration.
The above article, “What the Future Holds” was written by Steven L. Johnson. The article was excerpted from Apostolic Accent. June 2009.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.