TEN YEARS FROM NOW 12-29-19
Ten Years from Now
December 29, 2019
Another ten years has come and gone, and in three days we will enter into the 2020’s. Most view it as the beginning of a new decade, although some would argue that the next decade actually begins on January 1st, 2021. But then it has always been human nature to argue over things that in the end really don’t matter much.
That aside, looking back on the past ten years, what have we witnessed? For one, we have seen a dramatic rise in digital media, making both information and misinformation global within seconds. That includes social media, which, while it has given people a place to connect and encourage when used correctly, and to spread the message of the Gospel (at least until it becomes even more censored); if misused it often becomes a place to disconnect from or distort reality, as well as cause harm to family, business, church, and personal relationships. Terrorism, as well as wildfires and other natural disasters, have caused widespread panic and devastation. Science has made revolutionary advancements in both the world of the very small, such as genetics and quantum physics; as well as the very large, which includes finding liquid water on Mars, and the first photo of a supermassive black hole. Cell phones have become more powerful and prolific than many even dreamed of 10 years ago, and like the social media they are used as a conduit for, they have become both a blessing and a curse. Technology as a whole has entered into what some might deem as the threshold of a revolutionary new age, and others fear is a journey down the rabbit hole. How it affects the future of mankind will be determined primarily by how it is used, and how it is used is determined by the hearts of those at the wheel. Just ask Alexa or Siri.
As our pace has quickened over the past ten years, and knowledge in all fields appears to be increasing exponentially, a verse from Daniel chapter 12 comes to mind, in which an angel revealed that at “the time of the end… many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase.” (Daniel 12:4).
So what will the next ten years bring, especially in regards to Christians and Biblical prophecy? Only the Lord knows for sure, but if everything continues in the same direction I foresee it only causing a greater division between the world and Christians, and even among Christians themselves. While we have always been called to be in the world and yet not of the world, and should gladly bear the marks of persecution; the division among Christians, such as that demonstrated within the last ten years over the LGBTQ controversy, is nothing more than Satan’s way of destroying the enemy from within. For if he can get us to fight among ourselves, we are in essence doing his work for him!
So while we are busy planning our families, our jobs, and maybe our retirement, looking for ways to make our future bright, we need to be even busier doing the Lord’s work. For the only way to make a real difference in the world is not through technological advancements, scientific discoveries, or medical breakthroughs. It is through changed hearts. And the only way to change hearts is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As church membership continues to decline, and traditional means of reaching the lost for Christ fail to have the impact they once did, we need to broaden our horizons. We need to pray for the Lord’s wisdom and guidance in finding new ways to reach those who have not heard, or have heard but rejected the message because Satan has blinded their eyes to its truth. We need to work together, instead of destroying one another. As the Body of Christ we are called to go where God leads us, even if it is not where we originally intended. We may be quite comfortable in our favorite seat in the pew, but God has work for us to do. So while it is a good place to start, it is not our final destination.
And as we travel down that road, the road that God has set our feet upon, don’t keep your eyes focused on the last ten years, but rather look forward to the next ten. We haven’t all traveled in a straight line getting to where we are today. That is the reason I selected the Scriptures about Moses that I did for today’s readings (Acts 7:20-29 and 30-36). I can personally relate, and I am sure some of you can as well. Because ten years ago I was just getting my feet back onto the right path, after having wandered far down the wrong one for well over a decade. God had to dramatically get my attention in 2009 by causing me to lose a very profitable job as the owner of a Chicago Tribune agency after 12 years of managing it because of company downsizing. A few months later, through the urging of a close friend, I opened a Christian book store, even though at the time my heart wasn’t really in it from the standpoint of sharing the Gospel. I lost a great deal of money in that venture, but I know God didn’t lead me to open it for financial reasons. Rather, it was because during the year and a half that I managed my little store, He brought my heart back into close communion with him, and he brought me into contact with many Spirit-filled Christians - all of which ultimately led to my going into the ministry.
So you see, a lot can change in ten years. And so I pray that during the next ten years, we as individuals, and as a church, will see the power of Christ at work, reaching the lost, helping those in need, and sharing God’s love in a world that will be under the influence of a rapidly changing world system, shrouded heavily in darkness, although they proclaim it as light. May we shine the true light that overcomes that darkness! Amen.
“Control” (Tenth Avenue North) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG8phqghLDU
“Greater Than All My Regrets” (Tenth Avenue North) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgn14PrvXo8