On to the final question our worldview must address; Destiny – What’s next?
Death and then nothing…how sad. How bleak a prospect. Likewise, always being uncertain if you’ve done enough to earn your salvation must be just mind boggling…what a tense way to live.
What does the Bible say?
In chapter 21 of the last book of the Bible, Revelation, we are offered a description of what comes next, in the revelation that was given to John.
The Bible tells us that what comes next is the whole of reality being transformed, new heavens, new earth, new bodies…God and humankind once again in close relationship. In short, we are reconciled completely. Heaven is not a place of earthly pleasures personified, it’s totally new. It’s not a spring clean of what we’ve got now – get rid of the cobwebs and give it a lick of paint – it’s a total revamp.
So that’s what the Bible says, but what does this mean for us?
Simply, we can live with eternity in mind, with an eternal mindset.
It means we can live confidently, knowing our earthly tents – as much as we may like them, or not like them for that matter – are just that; tents. Temporary dwellings.
John 1:14 says this,
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The Greek verb used here for dwelt is ’skenoo’, it means literally ‘to tent’, ‘to tabernacle’, ‘to sojourn’. So here we have Jesus being described as taking a tent among us, pitching up in a tent to show us the way.
But just because they’re temporary, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take care of our tents, far from it, the Bible says physical exercise is of some benefit (sorry to break that to you), but it does mean that we can adopt a long term mindset, as Jesus taught, storing up treasures for ourselves in heaven which can never be taken away because we won’t live in these earthly tents forever!
Hope for the future rooted in God is multi-faceted. It offers a hope of heaven, but it also provides hope for today…belief in an immutable, personal God gives us an unflinching hope for both the future and the present (J. Warner Wallace)
So it’s time to tie all this together, to pick out a constant that’s present in all four of the things we’ve touched on.
When faced with questions or looking for answers about life, its meaning, its morals or its future, I would exhort you to start with God in Jesus for those answers.
The impact of a Jesus–lens on life then is this, it answers the four key questions…
Origin – We are of infinite value. We have dignity. We are made on purpose, in His image.
Meaning – There is a purpose to life. Glorify God. Serve. Love. Be conformed into His image.
Morality – Jesus did something to fix the evil in the human heart. As we come to know Him, we get a totally different understanding of right and wrong.
Destiny – At the resurrection God is beginning to remake all of creation.
Looking at life through a Jesus-shaped lens versus not is like looking at technicolour v black and white, HD v standard definition, or listening to surround sound v mono.
A Jesus lens on life offers a new way of thinking, seeing, and doing, based on a new way of being.
It’s like looking at this picture,
or this one…