Friday, September 24, 2010

The World is Passing Away

“The world is passing away” (1 John 2:17)

God’s Word is so good at giving us a right perspective about this life here on earth. While we are given the gift of life and are given many blessings we do not deserve, the Scriptures help us remember that this life is temporary. We are all familiar with the saying, “There are no U-hauls behind a hearse.” The point: You cannot take anything from this world with into eternity. Jesus says it another way, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul” (Matt. 16:26)? Souls are eternal but the gaining of possessions in this world is of no value for the next. John reminds us, “The world is passing away.”

Please do not hear me saying this world has no significance at all. This world has significance because God created it. Too often though we think this life is the end all. We cannot get beyond this world. Sadly it gets worse because we tend to think we are the end all of this world. I know pridefully I’ve thought, “What will the world be like without me.” What a joke! People die and the world moves on. Trends come and go and the world moves on. All of this is a foreshadowing of the truth that “the world is passing away.”

But in the midst of all these temporary realities one thing from this world will last forever which is the souls of mankind. Humans are created beings with souls lasting forever. Even after this world is gone the souls of mankind will live on. The problem is many humans reject this reality. They feel as if this world is all we have to look forward too so they go ahead and live it up. I know this is true because I too lived this way before the God’s grace showed me the truth. If this broken, sinful world is all we have to look forward too that is a depressing reality because “the world is passing away.” But we know this is not it. We know there has to be something more because our whole being longs for something more. We were created to worship and serve the Creator of the universe. Our eternal souls were meant to be satisfied by the One who is eternal, Jesus Christ. “In your presence there is fullness of joy; and at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11). We were created to be satisfied in God yet in rebellion against God we prefer the temporary, fleeting pleasures of this world which are passing away.

Are you satisfied? I don’t know how else to ask the question. Are you satisfied? You may be saying, “Of course I’m satisfied I’ve have everything I need and want.” Life is probably good right now. If you live in America be grateful for the many blessings we have in our freedom. But here is reality: Suffering is going to come. D.A. Carson says, “”The truth of the matter is that all we have to do is live long enough and we will suffer.” It’s true and when suffering comes what will you be clinging on to as your hope? It seems when things are going well we can forget God but when suffering comes our way we want him to do something about it.

So I ask again: Are you satisfied? Do you know the hope of Jesus Christ? He is the One in whom eternal life is found. He is the One in whom complete satisfaction is found. For those who place their faith is Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation eternal satisfaction will be yours. I wish I could explain this truth but it is solely a work of grace by the Holy Spirit given to those who trust in Jesus Christ. Christians stand on solid ground. Fanny Crosby wrote about the reality that though "the world is passing away" all we need is one thing: “Take the world, but give me Jesus, all its joys are but a name; but his love abideth ever, through eternal years the same.”

Grace upon grace,

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