Summary: A look at the future for Christians
The Future Cross
"How do you describe both a beginning and an end? We should have known better, but we didn't. What does it matter what we think we know, in the end there's no denying the truth." Kirk Cameron, who plays Buck Williams, says these words in the film Left Behind: The Movie and they are very apt words for us today as we talk about what form the cross takes in the future.
Let us pray, Almighty and loving God, You have created for Your saints such a wonderful reward for those who are faithful it is hard for us to contain our excitement. We thank You, Lord, for your love. In Christ we pray, Amen.
The future cross is the version of the cross that gives us the greatest difficulty in understanding God's way. Some of you may have read the Left Behind series, others may have read other books, watched movies, or heard speakers talk about the end times.
I am not going to sit here and say that those that have come before me on that issue are right or wrong for many times, the end is unclear to all of us and we are forced to make educated guesses as to what will happen and to what way it will happen. What I will say is that Christ is coming and as Rebecca St. James says in her song, "Come Quickly Lord,"
You're close, very close,
But Lord I miss You
Here's where I find hope
You're coming soon
And I long so much to see You that I cry.
The future cross is the cross where the judged becomes the judge. In the past, Christ was the judged, In the present, Christ is the misjudged, now in the future, Christ will be the judge presiding over all as the righteous Lamb of God.
Christ is referred to as many different names in the books of I and II Thessalonians, Revelation, Ezekiel, and Daniel. These books contain the bulk of the texts referring to the future incarnation of Jesus Christ. They refer to him as: The Alpha and Omega, The Beginning and The End, The Lord, The Prince of Peace, The Lamb of God, and many more names each with significant contributions and meanings to speak of.
The cross has given us a message in each age. In the past, the message was salvation from sins. In the present, the message is patience in waiting for him. In the future, the message is one of comfort and love. Christ yearns to comfort us by taking us home to be with him to see the streets of gold, the river of life, and all of Heaven where we will feel no more pain, no more hurts, there will be no more tears, only joy and praise to God our king. Christ gives us hope in that we are given one last chance to accept or reject him.
Al Green says in his song "Jesus is Waiting,"
Jesus is waiting if your broken down
Jesus is waiting don't let yourself down
Standing right there behind You
Helping You to make up your mind
Jesus is waiting
Yes, Jesus is waiting, he is waiting for us to go out and do what he had told the disciples in the past, what he tells us in the present and what he will reward us for in the future; that being the Great commission, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded You."
Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He will always be there for us as he promised in Hebrews 13:5, "Never will I leave You, never will I forsake You." That is the promise of the future. The promise of the future is that Christ is waiting for us and with us for the day when he can come back and bring us all to Heaven where we will be reunited with Christ, God, and all that have gone before us. This is one of the greatest mysteries of the Bible.
How will Christ come back, you may ask. In I Thessalonians 4:16-17, the Apostle Paul says,
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."
Christ will come back, but we must do our part. We must go out and tell others about him and his wonderful work. Christ has promised that the moment that he comes back will be after every last person on the face of the earth has heard of him and had the chance to make their decision.