The Assurance of Things Hoped For

By Gary DeMar

8/23/2006

The Christian is assured of the future. He does not have to concern himself with eschatological speculations. The “times and epochs” are God’s business (Acts 1:7). They are set by His sovereign will. There is no need to speculate on what is next on God’s prophetic timetable or despair and capitulate to evil when considering present circumstances. For whatever the future holds, we know that God holds the future.

The humanist has no such assured hope for the future. He can anticipate a better tomorrow, but there is no certainty. The humanist only has the past. But in the words of one prominent atheist, the past is “like an accidental afterthought than the culmination of a prefigured plan.”1 There is no “`higher’ answer” to explain why we are here or to tell us where we are going. With such an outlook, how can the humanist even utter an assured optimistic thought about the future? For him “the pathways that have led to our evolution are quirky, improbable, unrepeatable and utterly unpredictable.”2 Since the past is accidental, the future can be no different. There is no “higher answer” to give him any assurance of what the future holds. Humanists actually live as if there is no tomorrow in their advocacy of abortion and the disease inducing homosexual lifestyle. A recent article describes a “liberal ‘Fertility’ Gap.” “Liberals,” Arthur C. Brooks writes, “have a big baby problem. They’re not having enough of them, they haven’t for a long time, and their pool of potential new voters is suffering as a result.”3

The Christian, however, does not face the future with uncertainty. In addition, our view of the future will determine how we live in the present.

Nothing informs the way we live today as much as how we view tomorrow. It is the future that gives meaning to the present. History, from the Biblical perspective, has a purposeful beginning and a definite end. It begins with the creation of man by God, and moves with direction toward the consummation of man in Christ when time will be no more and eternal life will be enjoyed by those who are in Christ. It is this future hope that enables the Christian to bear his present sufferings and confirms his Christian ethic—for if there is no future hope, the apostle tells us, then “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Cor. 15:32).

When history has no purposeful beginning, it has no purposeful end. Disconnect ourselves from the future, and life is left without meaning, hope, or purpose. Freedom from the future leads to a hedonism for today. . . . The health and vitality of a society, therefore, resides in its connectedness to the future.4

This “connectedness” is very important to the Christian worldview that espouses a reformation of both the individual and society (consisting of reformed individuals). In a time of depressed hope, the Christian has the obligation to look beyond his own time to an era of past blessedness and future redemption. There is a tendency among the faithful, however, to expect a rescue through a rapture rather than a rescue through redemption. But by reviewing the past and resting on the hopes of the future, a present pessimism can be turned into an impetus for faithful “kingdom demonstration.”

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1. Stephen Jay Gould, “The Meaning of Life,” Life (December 1988), 84.

2. Gould, 84.

3. “Liberal ‘Fertility Gap’ Should Worry Democrats,” (August 22, 2006)

4. John Vertefeuille, Sexual Chaos: The Personal and Social Consequences of the Sexual Revolution (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1988), 21.

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American Vision
P.O. Box 220,
Powder Springs,
GA 30127, 800-628-9460, www.americanvision.org.

Gary DeMar is president of American Vision and the author of more than 20 books. His latest is Myths, Lies, and Half Truths.

30th June, 2007: We would like to thank Joan Jordan of American Vision for, on June 30th 2007, granting UK Apologetics generous rights regarding the use of their articles where we feel appropriate.

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