Summary: Predicting four things that the future holds for us & for our families.
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
ILL. An article appeared in an Arizona newspaper more than 40 years ago entitled, "Make A Date With The Millennium." It pointed out that the year 2000 was approaching, & that many who were reading that article in 1957 would still be alive when the year 2000 arrived. The article contained a list of predictions about things that would happen by then. Some came true, & some did not. Here are just a few of them:
1. It predicted that housework would be totally mechanized, that all we would have to do would be to push a button & a robot would vacuum the carpet, clean the windows, do the dishes, & all our other household chores.
Now we may be heading that way, but it hasn’t happened yet.
2. It predicted that we’ll be living longer. It was right. Life expectancy has been increasing. Indications are that it’ll continue increasing, & the average life expectancy will soon be 80 & over.
3. It predicted that by the year 2000 the traditional idea of marriage & family would be non-existent. But recent surveys indicate that the upcoming young adult generation has higher ideals about marriage & family than the "baby boomers" who are now so visible in the forefront of our nation. And the divorce rate is actually going down. I think the prediction was wrong & that the ideal of marriage & family will be around for a long time to come.
4. It predicted that by the year 2000 the birth of babies would be completely controlled, that there would never be any unwanted pregnancies, & that conception would primarily take place through artificial insemination.
That’s wrong, too. People are still conceiving the old-fashioned way, & will probably continue doing so for a long time to come.
5. It predicted that scientists will have developed an implant programmed to correct personality disorders, & even to control our appetites. Thus, by the year 2000, it predicted everybody in our society would be well-adjusted & happy, & nobody will ever be under or over weight again.
I don’t think I need to comment on that one.
SUM. Now, the list went on, but the point is this: In 1957, as people were looking forward to the year 2000, they compiled a list of things that they thought would happen. But as we look at their list, we find that very few of them are even close to coming true.
It’s difficult to figure out the future, isn’t it? It’s hard to pull back the curtains & see how things are going to be 10, 20, or 30 years from now. But we do wonder.
ILL. The young couple who comes home with a new baby wonders, "What does the future hold for our child?"
ILL. Those who are single parents, trying to raise their children by themselves, undoubted wonder, "What does the future hold for my family?"
ILL. Those who are older, facing life-changing decisions, also wonder, "What does the future hold for me?"
ILL. A poet wrote these words, "Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be. The last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in His hands. Trust God & don’t be afraid."
Hebrews 11:1-2 tells us, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for & certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for."
PROP. So this morning I would like to consider the question, "What does the future hold?" And in answer to that, I’m going to predict 4 things that the future holds for us & our families.
I. THERE WILL BE TROUBLE IN YOUR FUTURE
A. First of all, there will be trouble in your future. Job said, "As surely as the sparks fly upward, man is born to trouble."
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is talking about "abundant life." And in Matthew 6:33-34 He says, "Seek first His kingdom & His righteousness, & all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
So I’m sure that the future, even for Christians, will not be trouble-free. But the question is, "How will we deal with the trouble?" We need to have the kind of faith of the one who wrote, "I do not know what the future holds, but I know Him who holds the future in His hands."
ILL. The Romans had a legend about a man who longed to attend the King’s banquet. The King had a banquet every year, & he sent out invitations. But this man had never been invited.
Finally, he did receive an invitation. And when he did, he was so excited that he had his best clothes cleaned & pressed & prepared weeks in advance. Finally the day of the banquet came & he went, was ushered in, & took his seat at the banquet table. But as he sat down, he looked up & saw above his head a sword suspended by just a thin thread.