What will become of this world? This is a matter of concern for everyone. Including Christians who argue over visions of the future and quarrel over issues of biblical eshatology (or eschatology). We would like to see the right scheme, God’s plan for the future, and about us in it. We are not so much concerned with possible difficulties as with uncertainty, ignorance and misunderstanding.
It seems to me that the events of recent years are teaching us to start with ourselves, to think about our responsibility for the present, and at the same time to accept the ignorance of tomorrow.
I say this because too many people get sick, suffer and die just by watching political news on television or on a smartphone, or because of sensationalism, scandals and conspiracy theories.
What good is knowing the destiny of this world if you have very, very little left to live? What’s the point of entering important words into a search engine if you still haven’t resolved your personal questions?
The truth is that people are afraid to think responsibly and seriously about themselves. That is why they are thinking about the future of their country or the world.
I want to remind you of two simple truths that should connect the small and the big, our personal lives and the future of the world.
First, we need to know that there are two types of eschatology – personal and general. The general is about the history of mankind, the personal is about the life of an individual. The events of the end of the world and the beginning of the kingdom of God, the judgments and afflictions, the appearance of the Antichrist, and the coming of Christ are all reflected in the history of the world, but also in our personal lives. We may not see major events in which biblical eschatology is clearly being fulfilled. But we cannot avoid the events of personal eschatology. Premillennialists (premillennialism in Christian eschatology is the belief that Jesus will physically return to Earth before the millennium, literally the golden age of a thousand years of peace. Ed.) And amillennialists (interpreting the thousand years symbolically to the infinite bliss of men after the general resurrection. It is far more important to be ready to meet God at any moment than to have a clearly defined plan for the future and to assure you that we are not yet in the timing, that there is still time.
Personally, I am almost not interested in general eschatology. I know my life is too short to spend it on various schemes and arguments. It is enough for me that the Lord has a plan for this world and for me. I don’t need to know this plan at all. It is enough to know that this is the case.
Secondly, we should be more humble in our attempts to clarify the future, but at the same time look more confidently – to the very end of history. It doesn’t matter what happens tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. What matters is the end. And finally, there is a kingdom that will never end. Knowing this, we can rest assured that we can focus on fulfilling our responsibilities today (Matthew 6:34), trusting God with the future.
We need to practice trust in small things and trust in big and general things.
We do not know what will happen tomorrow. The Lord will not reveal it to us — that we would not relax too much or be in panic, be too confident, or be too confused.
Of course, we as Christians are also human beings. We want to know what will happen tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. We want to plan children’s weddings, house building and family vacations. But we are not given knowledge about the near future. Therefore, we should always leave the last word to God in our plans: “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:15).
So we don’t know what will happen to us tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, what will happen in 2022. But the Lord has revealed to us what will happen at the very end. May knowledge of the great future and ignorance of the near future be our confidence in small and great things. Trust and confidence are a good combination!