Christian Musician Keith Green was here for only a short time, dying before his 28th Birthday in a 1982 plane crash. In the seven years that followed his receiving Christ as Lord and Savior, until his premature death, Keith had a tremendous impact on Christian Music and the lives of countless people.
I was impacted by a recording in which I remember him stating words to the effect, ‘Jesus has gone to Heaven to prepare a place for us. He’s been doing that now for almost 2,000 years. If it took Him 6 days to create this world, with all its splendor and beauty, and He’s been working on Heaven for 2,000 years; this place must be like a garbage can, compared to what is waiting for us in Heaven!’
For the Christian, the best is yet to come!
People around us are in meltdown. They cannot see past the doom and gloom of lost income. Yes, people will be pushed to the limit. Yes, businesses will go under. Yes, people will lose their jobs. Times are likely to be tougher than anything this generation has experienced. No! Strike that! It’s not true. It will be for many, but not all.
As a pastor, I get to hear people’s stories. Back in the 80s, I spent time with some Vietnamese refugees. Between war, exile, dangerous journeys, pirates and absolute poverty, they have many stories that will make our coming months pale in comparison. And they are not alone in that.
If the point of life is making money, having friends and enjoying life’s experiences, then what lies ahead is devastating. In a world where living for self is everything, then yes, this is the pits. But we as Christians are not our own. We belong to God in Christ and our true home is in Heaven.
Currently, I am working through Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Here Paul is writing to a group of Christians who are well acquainted with suffering. Emperor Nero hated Christianity and shortly before his death, in the presence of his party guests, he lit up the courtyard of his palace with Christians, dipped in tar, hung on crosses and then burnt alive.
Just so you truly understand that these Roman Christians of Paul’s day knew suffering and hardship. It was so tough that they would meet in the ‘Catacombs’, which is a series of tunnels used for burying the dead, just so they could celebrate their faith.
To encourage these suffering believers, Paul reminded them of who they were and what was awaiting them beyond this arduous life.
14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15. For you have not received a spirit of bondage into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by which we cry out ‘Abba, Father’.
16. For the Spirit, Himself testifies with our spirit that we are Children of God.
17. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if then we suffer with Him, that also we may be glorified with Him.
For those who walk by faith and follow the Spirit of God, are owned by God as His children. Children to whom the wealth of Eternity belongs.
Yes, tough days are coming. Look beyond them, to our hope in glory and know this time of hardship is only for a season. The best is yet to come.