Have you ever seen those maps (at a zoo, at a mall, at a national park, etc.) that say "You are here! and then have an arrow point to your location on the map? Sometimes we need to find out where we are. Sometimes we just find it interesting to see where we are. Have you ever thought about where you are in mankind's history, or where you are in your own "present" life? Take your own life for instance. Imagine a graph or chart of your entire lifetime; not your lifetime up to the present, but what your entire lifetime will eventually be. At the left, it starts with the day you were conceived within the womb. Nine months later it shows the day of your birth. It continues on to the present (with an arrow that says "You are here!", and then on to the day of your death. Where would you think that arrow lies on this graph? Does it lie in the first third of your life, near the beginning? Does it lie in the second third near the middle, or somewhere in the third and final part of your life near the end? If you live an average, good, long life, and you are in your twenties, then the arrow would be in the first third. If you are in your mid-forties, in the second third; and if you are in your mid-sixties then in the last third of your life. But seeing we can not guarantee the future of our lives, that arrow might be right at the end of our lives without our even knowing it. Psalms 90:12 says "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." I take that to mean invest the days of your life wisely. "So then, everyone of us shall give an account of our life." Romans 14:12.
Though the above may be the more interesting of the two parts of this blog, my main focus is really on this second part. Where are we in mankind's history? Let's take a look at that graph as well. It begins with the creation of Adam and Eve some 6,000 years ago. Move to the right some 4,000 years and we come to the time of Jesus on earth. Move another 2,000 years and we get to about our present time. Many of us believe Jesus is soon to return. If that is true, then He will reign physically and visibly over all the earth, on earth from Jerusalem, and do that for 1,000 years. After that, He will judge Satan, the fallen angels, and all the people that did not trust in Him for their salvation. Next He will restore/renovate this planet to what is called the New Earth (and New Heaven), Isa 65:16,17; Rev 21:1. At this point in the graph there is an arrow pointing right, to the word ETERNITY.
As we consider where we are on this second graph, we are probably ready to move from our present location into that 1,000 year reign of Christ. Many on earth will die in The Great Tribulation right before that reign. Some will survive an enter into that reign having never physically died. Some of these people will be spiritually saved, having eternal life. Some will have never been spiritually saved, and will bear children that come into a glorious world, but still born with a sinful nature, and still need to trust Christ in order to gain eternal life. And then there are all those people that were resurrected at the Rapture, and those that were still alive and transformed at the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-53) who will enter into this 1,000 year reign with Christ. What interesting people they (we?) will be at this time, living among others that went through the Great Tribulation without dying, some saved and some unsaved, both bearing unsaved children that will either become saved or not depending on if they trust Jesus during this 1,000 year reign, a time in history where people will again live for hundreds of years (Genesis 5, and Isaiah 65:20).
In our present lifetimes, especially for those of us that are "older", we have seen presidents (and other political leaders) come and go. We have seen beliefs change drastically. We have seen great advances in technology, and great changes in the way people live their lives. But during the Millennial Kingdom, Jesus will be on the throne for four years; then four more, then forty more, then a hundred more, then four hundred more, then another 451 more after that (if my math is correct). There will be no political elections between these time periods to determine if Jesus will continue to reign or not. Jesus will just keep reigning and reigning. His reigning will be all that many will have ever known. Animals eating other animals will be a thing of ancient history, unknown of in that present time. War will also be something of the far, far ancient past. Great outbreaks of crime, disease, natural disasters, and other terrible things that have been so common in the twenty and twenty-first centuries will have not been experienced by so many, because they were born under this reign of Jesus. This is the time period that could conceivably start in about 7 years, if the "7 Year Tribulation" before the Second Coming of Jesus were to start any time soon. Could it be that by the year 2025 Jesus will have set up His earthly kingdom from Jerusalem. Could it be that this world of ours by that time will have been soooo RADICALLY changed by HIM!!! To say the least...it is possible.
Not only is it possible, it is LIKELY to be so, or close to being so. How far are you planning into your future? Have you thought past going to college, starting a career, getting married, having children, retiring? How much of that could you actually do in the next 7-10 or 20 years? From verses like Matthew 6:19-21 we usually think about just going to Heaven, but the Bible paints a picture of Heaven coming down to earth; of living in that New Heaven and New Earth (accessing even the universe). We can get our college educations; we can build up our savings accounts, our stocks and bonds, our IRA's, etc., etc., but are we really preparing ourselves for what is coming, and coming soon? "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (consumed) with surfeiting (eating well), and drunkenness, and cares of this life (our daily preoccupations), and so that day (choose your application) come upon you unawares." Luke 21:34
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