Sometimes we find ourselves wondering, where will this all end up? I feel this way looking at the evening news, the rise of radical Islam, the sexual anarchy gripping Western Civilization, and the rumored impending collapse of “Christendom.”
Sometimes the struggle is more personal in nature. As Ronald Reagan put it, “A recession is when you lose your job. A depression is when I lose mine!” Sometimes it takes the events of our “today” to thrust the sharp edge of this question into our ribs.
The atheist knows the answer to all this. Ultimately, he says, everything will end in the vast death of the solar system. Somewhere around 3-4 billion years in the future, all the life our sun currently supports will come to an abrupt end, when the hydrogen supply it needs finally runs out—the sun consumes about 500million tonnes of hydrogen each second to keep the heat and light on in our corner of the galaxy. That’s quite a power bill!. Only on this foundation of “unyielding despair,” Bertrand Russel says, can we really and honestly live our lives.
In the first chapter of his grand epistle, Paul offers a different vision of the future. It is one, not of despair, but of hope!
First, the Universe is moving towards fullness (not emptiness). God has a “plan for the fullness of the times.” Like the convergence of myriads of mountain streams, every event of human history is forming a surging river, all headed in one direction.
Second, the Universe is moving towards Someone (not nothing). One of the great struggles the Atheist has is to explain the emergence of personal beings against the backdrop of an ultimately impersonal universe. Where do our personalities come from? How can we explain human consciousness? Is it just the fizzing together of ultimately random chemicals mixing in the architecture of our brains? By what standard should such brain fizz be judged rational or irrational? Is our personality just a mirage, the product of mere chemicals, but ultimately, are we impersonal in reality? For the Christian, however, this is not a problem. Our personalities are real; reflecting the Great Person in whom all created reality finds its point of origin (and climax). Christ is the point of conclusion, the terminus ad quem, to which every second of time, and every moment of history is inexorably moving.
Third, the Universe is moving towards order (not chaos). ““In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.” (Ephesians 1:11, ESV). Nothing is left to chance. No detail is overlooked. Your whole life rests securely in the fatherly providence of God. The All-Holding One is on your side. If He is for you who can stand against you.
If this is true, and it is, how much of your life is centered around the coming of Christ? If He is the focus of History, is He the focus of your life? What would change if He was? Consider the tragedy of meeting Christ in the air, only to find you spent the majority of your time, your talents, and your treasure pursuing fruitless things, self-centered goals, and Christ-less pursuits. Let’s begin today, taking every thought captive to the knowledge of Christ. Confess those areas where, if you were completely honest, you would have to confess you are pursuing “other things.” Reorganize your life around what really matters, what’s destined to last forever. Live a life that will outlive your life here on earth.