Turning Points Magazine & Devotional

October 2021 Issue

Where Do We Go From Here?

From the Current Issue

The Hope We Find in Bible Prophecy

The Hope We Find in Bible Prophecy

In a recent scholarly paper, scientist Phil Torres concluded that many experts who study existential threats to the globe agree that the probability of doom is higher today than ever before in history. Torres wrote, “From nuclear weapons to killer drones to designer pathogens, humanity is acquiring much more efficient methods of bringing down civilization.”1

Wow! If that’s what the experts believe, Where Do We Go From Here?

Biblical prophecy leads us past chaos and cataclysm to Christ Himself, who is over all victorious.

Actually, that is the title of my new book, and my outlook is more hopeful than you’ll find in current headlines or in the writings of futurists. I believe we should be as optimistic as Simon Peter, as hopeful as the apostle Paul, and as excited as John of Patmos—all of whom spoke of the future in words bathed in sunshine.

As you will discover in Where Do We Go From Here? God anticipated today’s world and told us how the story will unfold. That’s why biblical prophecy is so important. It is not just doom and gloom. Each prophetic verse in the Bible is another brick in the tower of HOPE that God wants to build in our minds and hearts.

Biblical prophecy never leads us down dark pathways of chaos and cataclysm. It leads us past chaos and cataclysm to Christ Himself, who is over all victorious. Yes, those without Christ should feel ill at ease when reading God’s plans for the future. But those who walk with the Lord should feel our heart leaping whenever our mind learns something more about the “glory which shall be revealed” (Romans 8:18).

The writers of the Bible viewed the End Times as the opening curtain for the return of Christ, and they anticipated the scene. Peter told us we should be “looking forward to these things” (2 Peter 3:14). Paul said it was “through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures [that we] might have hope” (Romans 15:4). And Jesus said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28).

In Where Do We Go From Here? I suggest a series of strategies for dealing with the problems around us, but always with a view of the hope before us.

The holiness of God is beyond our mental comprehension.

What is hope? It isn’t an uncertain thought, nor is it a mere aspiration. Biblical hope has nothing to do with wishing for something that may or may not happen. It’s not a matter of knocking on wood or keeping our fingers crossed.

Biblical hope is sure, certain, and inexorable—promised by the decrees of God, guaranteed by the resurrection of Christ, and confirmed by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The easiest way I know to describe it is by letting each of its four letters represent an attribute or characteristic of our Almighty God.

H = Holy

The holiness of God is beyond our mental comprehension. He is enthroned in holiness and the constant cry of His angelic guardians is: “Holy, holy, holy!” His name is holy; His Word is holy; His promises are holy. And the glory of His holiness shines with light unequalled by a trillion blazing stars. There is no shadow, stain, or hint of sin within Him or around Him. When He appeared to Moses and Joshua, the very ground became holy.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has triumphed over every power, every principality, every ruler of darkness, every spiritual force of evil in the unseen realm.

That means God’s future for us through Christ is one of holiness. He longs to bring us into His holy and heavenly kingdom where sin and sorrow cannot exist. The unfolding events of the Last Days will sweep away the debris of the world like chaff in the wind and pave the way for God’s people to see and to share in His holiness forever.

The Bible says, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight…. he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment” (Ephesians 1:4-10, NIV).

In the 1600s, Puritan Stephen Charnock preached a series of sermons to his congregation on the existence and attributes of God. He died before finishing the series. Even so, his published sermons became a huge set of books, and his chapter about the holiness of God stretches a hundred pages. Charnock taught that God makes us holy through Christ so that we will have eternal communion with Him: “We cannot be satisfied with the likeness of God at the resurrection, unless we have a righteousness wherewith to ‘behold his face.’” Heaven cannot seem beautiful to the unholy eye. “Holiness fits us for communion with God.”2

God’s holiness is bulldozing its way through history, paving a glorious road into the future for His children.

O = Omnipotence

The O stands for God’s omnipotence—His almighty power that will bring the world under His subjection. When we read through Revelation or study prophecy, we may feel things will be chaotic in the Last Days. We certainly feel that way now about our world.

But nothing is ever out of God’s control. Nothing can be. His power is never greater or less, for it is absolute and ultimate. As it effortlessly created the old heavens and the old earth, even so it will create the new heavens and the new earth. God’s power rules every corner of the cosmos without fatigue, and it propels the course of human history. It will enforce His will. Attempts to overthrow Him will be like snowflakes thrown into the sun.

We are victorious through Him. Our Lord Jesus Christ has triumphed over every power, every principality, every ruler of darkness, every spiritual force of evil in the unseen realm. He has triumphed over the world, the flesh, and the devil. He conquered sin, death, and hell. He broke the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil, and freed those who were held in slavery by their fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15).

Nothing happens without His permission. Our HOPE is anchored to God’s holiness and secured by His omnipotence.

P = Preeminent

As I mention in Where Do We Go From Here? we also find tremendous hope in the exalted position of Jesus Christ who ascended to heaven and is enthroned above all other authority. Colossians 1:18 says, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

This is a major theme of biblical prophecy, and it should thrill us. Try to imagine the scene in Revelation 5 as John heard the voice of many angels, numbering ten thousand times ten thousand, along with the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders, all singing: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (verse 12)

We will sing that song one day!

Tribulation is not preeminent, nor is the devil or Antichrist. Evil will not predominate. Christ alone rules as the preeminent King, unrivaled in the heavens.

E = Eternal

Our HOPE extends to eternity. Because God is eternal and because Jesus rose in glorification, all those who know Him “should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

The prophetic calendar is leading to a red-letter day for His children, for “so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17, NIV).

The moment we proclaim Christ as our Savior, He comes, through His Spirit, to live and reign within us. One day we’ll see Him face-to-face. One day soon we’ll literally walk and talk with Him as the disciples did long ago. We will share His glory and have a part in His inheritance, reigning with Him over the new creation. That’s the pathway we find in God’s prophecies and promises.

So where do we go from here?

Don’t be afraid. Don’t study biblical predictions and ask, as one man did, “Where’s the hope in all this?” There is no reason to wring our hands or lose our nerve. Let the word HOPE remind you of the attributes and characteristics of God, which will carry you safely, in His timing, to His Celestial City.

Our hope is anchored by our Lord’s holiness and secured by His omnipotence. It’s as high as His preeminence and as long as His eternity.

So sanctify the Lord Jesus in your heart and be ready to answer those who ask you for a reason for the hope within you. You can trust the Lord Jesus in times like these—and that’s the prophetic truth!

Sources:

1. Phil Torres, “Facing Disaster: The Great Challenges Framework,” Foresight, November 6, 2018 and Phil Torres, “Scared Straight: How prophets of doom might save the world,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May 27, 2021.

2. Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God (USA: Library of Alexandria).

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