Everyone wants to know how their future will be. Have you ever thought about what you will look like or how much you will change after 10 years?
There is a saying in Korea: “Even rivers and mountains change in 10 years.” When we look around, we can see how much change the flow of time has brought about; high-rise buildings have been built in the area that used to be a wild plain before. It is a surprise to see how the mountains and rivers have changed. How much more surprising and wonderful it will be to see what we will look like in the future—how our lives will change in God?
A man, who served as president of the World Bank, left the following message in his memoir. One day, he summoned the heads of the top 100 companies in the world to a meeting. He wondered what kind of mindset each of them had, and he paid close attention to them, interviewing them and listening to their conversations, during the meeting lasting several days. Then he found out that they all had one thing in common: None of them talked about what their company had gone through before, but they all kept talking about how they would manage and lead their company in the future, throughout the meeting and even during the breaks. Through this meeting, he came to the conclusion that the successful companies would always think about the future and prepare for the future.
We, too, should look ahead into our future. Every seventh day, we go to Zion to keep the Sabbath. However, it is not enough for us just to go to church, sing New Songs, pray to God and listen to the sermon. In addition to these, we need to think about what kind of future we will have and we should live the life of faith with such a future-oriented mindset.
Alexander the Great, one day when he was a young prince, talked with his teacher, Aristotle. At that time, his teacher asked him how he would lead his kingdom when he would later become king. Then he answered that he would conquer not only the entire region of Greece but all other regions of Europe. And when his teacher asked him what he would do after conquering Europe, he said that he would then conquer Asia Minor and Africa. “What would you do after that?”
Alexander kept talking about his plans for further conquest which he desired. However, since he was also a mortal man, he could not avoid mentioning death—the end of man. “What would you do after that?” His answer to this question was as follows: “I’m going to die then.”
People dream for a better future and plan for their future after ten or twenty years. Each of them has an ambitious goal and runs towards it, but they cannot help but meet their end—death—in the future.
Then, what will be the future of God-believing people? Alexander the Great, when asked what he would do in the end, answered that only death would await him then. For us, however, death is not the end. Even if we talk about our future for ten years or a hundred years or even for myriad years, our conversation will never end because we will have countless things to do and enjoy endless life. If life is a series of choices, we have truly made the most valuable choice.
Let’s find out what kind of future God has promised us, through the words of the Bible.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.” Rev 22:1-6
God has plainly promised that we will reign for ever and ever in the eternal kingdom of heaven where there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain. These are the trustworthy and true words of God. God prepared everything for our future, and through an angel He showed John the Apostle a vision of what must take place.
However, people do not realize what is written in the Bible; they just regard it as a fable or a myth which is far from reality. This is because they look at God’s word from a limited point of view based on human knowledge. In the late 1960s, when America launched the Apollo spacecraft, the whole world was excited, saying it was one of the most brilliant achievements in science. However, while human beings launched a spacecraft or a satellite into the space just temporarily in the 20th century, God already hung the earth over nothing even 4.5 billion years ago. Just considering the earth alone, God’s wisdom and knowledge precede man’s knowledge of science by at least 4.5 billion years.
God created the vast universe, to say nothing of the earth which is only a tiny part of it. Scientists say that our Milky Way galaxy contains about 200 billion stars. And it is estimated that there are 200 billion galaxies containing 200 billion stars each in the entire universe. So, we cannot fully fathom the providence of God who created the whole universe and operates it. The great God has put all high-level knowledge together, which precedes that of man by billions of years or tens of billions of years, and has let it be written in the Bible. Since God has shown us our future through such trustworthy words contained in the Bible, how definite and bright our future will be!
To have such a beautiful and eternal future which the Bible presents, we must do something while living in this world.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Mt 16:13-19
Jesus Christ is God who has come to this earth in the flesh. God gives the keys of the kingdom of heaven to those who correctly recognize and receive God who has come in the flesh. The world does not recognize God, but to those who receive God—to those who believe in His name, He gives the right to become children of God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Jn 1:1, 10-14
God came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet some people, like Peter, recognized Him. Such people were given a beautiful future in heaven by God. Those who have met God and abide in God’s promises are building a much brighter and securer future than anyone else in the world.
God has come to this earth in the flesh. In the age of the Son, God came in the flesh, and even in these last days—the age of the Holy Spirit, God has come to this earth in the flesh as the Spirit and the Bride. All who recognize God in this age will receive the right to become children of God and the keys of the kingdom of heaven as well. We have received the Spirit, God the Father, and the Bride, God the Mother. So, we are truly blessed and our future is really bright.
The Bible says that those who will be saved in the last days are the precious firstfruits that God gathers up from this earth (Rev 14:1-5). They are perfect in God’s eyes; they are God’s people who will enter heaven after passing through the process of being tested and tried and all other processes required by God. So God has made us royal priests, so that we will reign for ever and ever.
When we pass through the entire process of being refined, we will go to the kingdom of heaven prepared for us by God, where there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain but an overflow of eternal joy and blessings every day (Rev 21:4). The world, which is a completely different dimensional place than we humans imagine, will spread out before us.
Do you wonder what your future holds? If you do, examine it through the Bible. If you happen to know a way to have a greater life and future than the one found in the Bible, you may choose that way. However, nowhere in the world can you find a more perfect and wonderful future than the one God has presented us.
Even the future of famous heroes in the world is not as bright as ours. Their future will end with death, but our future will end up with eternal life. The everlasting life cannot be expressed or understood in human language because no one has ever experienced it. God has briefly explained that such a wonderful world will spread out before us—the world which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived. This brilliant future is waiting for us. So today, too, we are diligently running towards the kingdom of heaven, revering God, putting God’s will into practice and preaching God’s word to the ends of the earth, aren’t we?
Our efforts for the gospel never go in vain (1 Co 15:58). Thinking of the brilliant future that will spread out before us, let us take steps toward the future. If we believe that we have such a gracious future, we should not settle in our present life or get too tied down with sad and painful things today. We need to live each and every day of our life meaningfully and faithfully. Is it proper for us to neglect the physical things of this world because we are God’s people? Not at all. Since we are God’s people, we need to live our life on this earth more faithfully and obey every word of God with reverence and awe for God.
Let us see what God has asked us to do in this age, for the brilliant future that will spread out before us.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” Isa 60:1-3
Isaiah 60 sings of the future glory of Jerusalem. What we have to do now is to shine the light of the glory of our Mother, the heavenly Jerusalem.
Now darkness is covering the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, blinding their eyes. To drive out the darkness and remove it from them, we have to arise and shine the light. There are still so many people on the earth who are living without knowing God correctly. Since they do not know God, they cannot believe in God, and since they fail to believe in God, they are unaware of how to receive the right to become God’s children and the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
We have seen the true light, so we now believe in the light. However, since the world is still in deep darkness, there are a large number of people who are spiritually dying without knowing God the Father, God the Mother and the truth of the new covenant taught by God. If we shine the light of the glory of Jerusalem, there will be a distinction between those who belong to God and those who do not.
“For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined.” Isa 60:12
“Who are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to their nests?” Isa 60:8
Since we shine the light on them, they can come to God. If thick darkness is over them, they cannot distinguish truth from falsehood. They are able to discern all things because there is the light.
We need to proclaim the glory of our Heavenly Father Ahnsahnghong and our Heavenly Mother the new Jerusalem, who have come to this earth as the light, even more powerfully wherever thick darkness is over the peoples. If we preach the gospel with such a faith, God’s work will be finished very soon.
“Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly.” Isa 60:21-22
Our God will quickly open the hearts of people all over the world, so that they can move toward the glorious future. For the future, let us use our time meaningfully today, keep God’s commandments and put God’s will into practice wholeheartedly, so we can store up abundant blessings in heaven and go back to the kingdom of heaven together. The blessing of eternal life and the blessing of entering heaven will be given to all of God’s people, but there will be varying degrees of reward in heaven; God will reward each of us according to what we have done.
God has promised us such a glorious future, which is waiting for us. Looking forward to the future, let us do our best to live our life faithfully today, with a gracious faith, so that we will all be worthy enough to go back to the eternal kingdom of heaven, without anyone falling behind. Our brothers and sisters in Zion throughout the world! I want you all to become great prophets and plan for the great future.