YOUNG CHRISTIAN - YOUR FUTURE
LIKELY ONE REASON we set our sights so low that only temporal creature-affairs seem of major importance is our failure to grasp how much "the hope of our calling" (Eph. 1: 18) actually en visions Yet its purposes cover at least four spheres: that of our little sojourn on earth; that of our Heavenly Home; from which we shall serve with Christ over His millenial kingdom; and after that (apparently) over His everlasting kingdom in the New Earth, "unto the ages of the ages" (Rev. 20: 6; 22: 3-5)
(See: "Bible Problems and Answers" page 36, and Hoste’s "Be k yond the Grave," Chap. 2, Sect. 4; also pages 33-35).
Now, young Christian, if we do any purposeful thinking at all, we must admit that’s a mind-staggering future - and all in association with our blessed Lord Jesus Christ! Surely only that nfinite Deity, who in inconceivable grace has brought us into relationship with Himself, through the Son, the Holy Spirit and the Word, could plan, and execute, such a programme. At once the question which strikes any heavenly-minded be lieve is bound to be: "How do I fit in with this plan? (Integration). What can it mean to me now?" For while all too many of us dream, chiefly, of some measure of success, or of love and happiness, surely some will have no desire to hide away our
Heavenly Nobleman’s entrusted pound - not even if it be rapped in a nice clean napkin. Surely some will wish to be obedient to His command, "Occupy till I come" (Luke 19:13).
Turning back to the passage in Ephesians (Eph. 1: 15-20), we notice that vs. 16 tells of the Spirit-directed prayers of the Apostle for those Christians. He first asks that a gift shall be given to them - one which we need quite as much as any saints in Ephesus. The blessing sought was the full-knowledge of God
-the God of our Lord Jesus Christ - the Father of glory! This could be obtained only through His gift of the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Only then would the eyes of their understanding be enlightened sufficiently to enable them to know the three
things for which he further prayed: the hope of His Calling the riches of the glory of His inheritance . . . and the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe.
Now there can be no doubt that Paul had been given this great gift and greater blessing. And perhaps it was his possession of them which stimulated him in the yielding of himself wholly to the Lord, and then strengthened him to go forth under the Holy Spirit’s direction to do exploits (Daniel 11: 32b) in the power of the Lord . . . 0 young men! young women! do not the possibilities of such a life stir you to the very core?
Or can it be that "other things" (Mark 4: 19) are those which arouse a heartier response within us? We are so much given to dreaming; but what is the stuff of which our dreams are made? Is it lots of money? or an important job? A smart car? An attractive girl friend? Or for my sisters, is it fashionable clothes? A yen to be beautiful? An ideal boy friend, plus blissful (but fleeting!) romance and a nice home?
When we preach to sinners do we not warn them that earthly pleasures cannot satisfy, nor last? We assure them that only the joys found in Christ can meet the needs of our hearts, can endure. No we do not go to dance halls, theatres, sports, or other worldly pleasures; but we do like to dream about how marvelous it would be if we could be some very wonderful person, own a very smart car, have a million dollars or better still (forgetting Isa. 42: 8) be a great evangelist and see hundreds won to Christ . . . Well, is it true, or isn’t it? And if it is even partly true, does it not cry from the roof tops our great need of enlightenment for the eyes of our understanding?
Of course I do not forget the old saying, "All horses can’t jump." There are Christians who never will aspire to be more than "ordinary" ones. Nevertheless, don’t you think it likely that there would be some "ordinary" saints at Ephesus who would hear the Good Shepherd’s voice in this apostolic prayer? Hence my plea is being made to any of us who long, rather, to become, by His grace, "unusual" Christians. For I have proved that, as a rule, dreams of earthly bliss or glory serve only to pave Life’s highway to the disillusionment of Marah’s bitter waters (Exodus 15: 22-25). Just as certainly as for the unsaved sinner, it may turn out that someday some of us will mourn:
"I tried the broken cisterns, Lord,
But, ah! the waters failed!
E’en as I stooped to drink they fled,
And mocked me as I wailed."
- And all because, to return to our opening metaphor, we have set our sights far, far too low. Let us pray earnestly then, Beloved, for that enlightenment which will enable us to gain something of the full-knowledge of our Almighty God, and so to catch the vision of the great purposes behind the hope of His calling- purposes so high and vast that they must stagger the minds of any except those who can embrace them by faith.
It was a Spirit-revealed knowledge of God which Isaiah received that day described in Chapter 6. Let us go often and sit beside the prophet until the awful majesty and holiness of the Almighty is so borne in upon our souls that we shall sense the trembling of the door posts at the sound of the seraph’s voice. A deeply reverential self-humbling must be the result as the blazing purity of His holiness reveals to us our own utter worthlessness and uncleanness. Then will come afresh His forgiveness and cleansing (vv. 6-7; 1 John 1: 9) and His enlightenment; for then shall we be ready to have Him unveil to us something of HIS PLAN for our earthly lives, even as He did for Isaiah that day. And then something of the immensities of His purposes concerning us, when we shall be like Christ, and with Him, serving from our eternal home, in matters of His millennial kingdom, and then in His everlasting kingdom, shall commence to re-shape our thinking and our attitudes. And then shall Colossians 3: 1-4 take on a realistic meaning, while the truth of the parable of the pounds - Life-time is Training-time for Reigning-time (Luke 19: 11-27) - shall shed its light on many a strange experience, or perplexing problem, of our wilderness journey. O Beloved, how can any lesser matters be of absorbing interest to the twice born?
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