Once again the world is asking, “What does the future hold?” “What will tomorrow bring?” There has always been a degree of interest in the future, but it is certain that that interest will grow. That growing interest is bound to be heightened by the people of the world itself, who will be announcing that the past is obsolete, and the future is where it all is. In fact, the doctrine of an obsolete past may well soon be used to apply to sacred things, like the Bible. We can be sure that when man rejects what the Bible says about the future and attempts to produce a future of his own making, that will be trouble indeed for all of humanity.
God still presides above history. Whatever politicians, princes or presidents may say, God is in charge. We should remember Nebuchadnezzar’s testimony, which grew out of his experience of being humbled like an animal,
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Dan. 4:35).
God absorbs all events into his providence. Whatever man may do, he cannot finally cancel or even seriously disturb the ongoing plan of God.
God is forebearing, but he will judge the world. In this day of grace, He keeps open the door to life so that as many as possible will come and believe in Him. The love of God is eternal, but His patience is not. One day, the King of the universe will cancel all human politics and will Himself come to rule the world. Then the day of grace will be past and judgment will come upon all mankind. The great tribulation comes before Christ takes His throne. Human politics is fairly serious business, but the lordship of God is the ultimate reality. In the meantime, we will heed the instructions of Scripture:
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:1-4).
The politician that has Christians praying for him is advantaged indeed. The leader who has Christians praying against him is in deep trouble.
Just so we don’t forget, what does the Bible say about the future?
- It says that we Christians who live in the last days will face danger and great opportunity. To the church of our time the Bible says, “See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it” (Rev. 3:8).
- It says that the world of the wicked will deteriorate into instability, and then anarchy. In this regard the Scripture says, “Only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed” (2 Thess. 2:7-8). The restraint of the rise of evil is in view here.
- It says that we Christians at the end of this age will be caught up to be with Christ. How wonderful is the promise, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible” (1 Cor. 15:51-52).
- It says that the world will move into the period of the tribulation, which develops then into the great tribulation. Jesus Himself said, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:21). Christ then said, “Unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved” (Matt. 24:22). So it is that humanity itself will bring—by its own activities—such results as would jeopardize the very life of humanity. Mankind, therefore, ought not to look forward to a human utopia, but rather, a world that is increasingly characterized by the rise of iniquity.
- The tribulation will then end with a spectacular event. That event is called the second coming of Jesus Christ. Concerning this, the Apostle John was given a vision which he described by saying,
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head weremany crowns. He had[a] a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood (Rev. 19:11-13).
It is interesting, then, to note that Christ does not come alone, but rather returns “with ten thousands of His saints” (Jude 14). In that every Christian is a saint, we can anticipate quite a number returning from heaven. Talk about a spectacular event, it is impossible to conceive anything that is much more spectacular.
We will pick the discussion up there tomorrow.
(Read Part 2)
Dr. Dave Breese (1926-2002) was an internationally known speaker, teacher and author. He founded the ministry of Christian Destiny in 1963, and through it proclaimed the gospel on weekly radio and television programs and in numerous books and booklets. In 1987, he also became the president and Bible teacher on The King Is Coming telecast, a role that he filled until his death in 2002. Other organizations that Dr. Breese served during his distinguished ministry career included Youth For Christ, Awana, Back to the Bible, National Religious Broadcasters and National Association of Evangelicals. A frequent conference speaker and a master at explaining the relevance of Bible prophecy, he was also known for his wisdom and wit. It is a great honor to include him as part of the inaugural class of Revived Classics authors for Dispensational Publishing House.
This article originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of Destiny Bulletin.
Copyright © 2009 Christian Destiny, Inc. All rights reserved.
The article is reprinted here by permission of Christian Destiny.
For more information regarding Christian Destiny, go to www.ChristianDestiny.org.
Other material copyright © 2016 Dispensational Publishing House, Inc.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.