Has anyone ever wondered if the next age will require faith?
Whatever you want to call the age that comes next ~ ‘Heaven”, ‘The Kingdom of God”, “The Millennium”, ‘The Kingdom of the Father”, “The afterlife”….I’m not hung up on strictly defining what comes next.
I just don’t hear people ever speak about the following life as though it will require faith. It sounds like we are all equally convinced that everything good will automatically come to us from God. (To those who believed in Christ during this life, of course…)
So basically, believe now and your current faith will eliminate the need for future faith?
But faith has always been and still is what was required to please God…even back to the first family on earth. (Hebrews 11)
It seems that we often sound like the OT Prophet Isaiah, who spoke of the promises concerning the future Age with almost a guaranteed certainty. But, what if those promises are conditional…what if we actually have the potential to receive those promises now…if we would believe?
My point is that Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would reveal everything pertaining to Father God. (John 16:12-15) Yet, we often allow our life to experience things that are clearly not Father God’s perfect will (on earth as it is in Heaven). Myself included, we too often passively accept “less than God’s best” because we don’t automatically experience it.
It’s so easy to live by sight and accept things that are contrary to “Your will be done on earth, just as it is in Heaven” when we see so little of Heaven in earth. But we are called to live by faith and not by sight.
Let me be clear. I’m not talking about material things.
I’m talking about spiritual things. Hmmmm….that phrase is so vague. I mean aspects of Father God’s nature. I mean Gal.5:22-23 things. Those things we call “Fruits of the Spirit”. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Gentleness. Faithfulness. Self-control.
Have you noticed that I don’t preach a materialistic Gospel?
This is not about physical stuff for me. I do believe that God blesses us financially, physically and materially. But that is never the main theme of the Gospel. I am completely convinced that Jesus revealed, when we prioritizing seeking Kingdom things, Father provides for our worldly needs. (Matt.6:31-34) However, this Gospel is mostly about spiritual promises.
The promise of experiencing joy, peace and hope. (Rom.15:13)
We experience all these better things by intimately “knowing Father”. This is everlasting life! (John 17:3) and we have the privilege of experiencing everlasting life now! (1 John 5:13) We already have everlasting life, but we don’t automatically experience what God has already given us just because we *believed once*! The righteous aren’t merely born-again by faith, they live by faith!
All of these amazing experiences are merely attributes of our Father’s character. We already have him (and everything that He is) living inside our inner beings. We merely need to grow in our awareness of who He is and what he is like. (2 Peter 1:1-12)
I’m convinced that we have been given more than we could ever know. All of the Trinity is alive and powerfully active in us. (Colossians 2:6-10) We can choose to live by sight and experience whatever comes at us. Or we can “fight the good fight of the faith” and contend for all that God has already freely given us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 1:3 says “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”
I think it honors our Father that we contend for experiencing “every spiritual blessing” in this life. This is not primarily for our own benefit. It’s mostly for the benefit of increasing his Kingdom in our lives, so that it continues to fill the world. Why?
Because “The Kingdom of God is not food or drink but, righteousness, joy and peace IN the Holy Spirit.” (Rom.14:17)
So let’s get busy.
1st. Growing in relationship with our Father of hope, joy and peace.
2nd. Let’s learn how to do more than experience all his “spiritual blessing” promises but, how to manifest them to the world.
3rd. Let’s learn how to teach everyone that is in our lives and willing to know Father “how to” do the same. This is how I desire to cooperate with the increase of his Kingdom and of peace, which has no end.
Even before the Cross, Jesus said ~ “From the time of John the Baptizer until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people have been seizing it.” (Matthew 11:12)