You Have A Future – Part 3

15 11 2010

Part 3: Where Will You End Up?

There are so many questions about what is to come, aren’t there? Right from small these questions start popping up in our minds as we dream about being a fireman or princess or superhero. What will you do? Who will you be? Will you get married? Where will you live? Will there be more happy days than sad ones? Waiting for the future can be exciting one moment, and fill you with uncertainty the next.

There is an old song that pats us on the back and says, “Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see.” I guess that is true, in some sense. The future is an “unknown,” right? Even if we do our best to plan out tomorrow, plans change. The future is unpredictable. Not a single human being, not even a crafty fortune teller, can accurately say what the future holds. You don’t know what will cross your path; you can’t anticipate every turn in the road. At the same time, it would kind’a be nice to know what’s coming, hey? Is it good? Is it bad?

Have you ever seen the “Worst-Case Scenario” books? These have been hugely popular because people want answers on how to handle each and every situation, including “What to do if you encounter a runaway camel.” I suppose, if you ever do encounter such a camel, the information would be handy, but what should you do with the scenarios of life that are more likely to come your way?

•    What do you do if you have money or don’t have any?
•    What do you do if you find love or don’t find it?
•    What do you do if you live in good health or don’t live long at all?
•    What do you do if you build a successful career or can’t built one?
•    What do you do if you find significance or lose it?

We can have big questions like that and respond by trying to plan everything out.  In our minds we have a big piece of paper, a ruler, a pencil and we begin to design a carefully constructed life so that, if everything goes our way, things will turn out perfectly. The problem is, we can plan to be careful, friendly, healthy, smart, and giving and it just takes one thing, as simple as a glass of water getting knocked over, and our blueprint is all smudged and messy. It can happen to anyone at any time. Way back around 250 BC, a very wise man named King Solomon looked at how no one escapes tough things:

“It’s the same for everybody—people who live right and people who don’t, good people, bad people, the nice and the nasty, people who live for God and people who don’t, committed people and uncommitted people. I find this outrageous—the worst thing about living on this earth—that everyone’s lumped together…”

Let’s not have any illusions that life is just sweet. You know it. I know it: sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t, but we don’t have to tip-toe into the future. There are some really powerful TRUTHS that you can carry with you, no matter what!  Of course, these things depend on whether you are going to go at it alone, or whether you are going to choose to partner up with the One who created you.

If you are going to do the former — go at it alone — I really only have one thing to say: “You don’t have to, you know?” I am sure you have heard a zillion times that there isn’t a God. But what if there is? What if you are going at it alone and there is a God who is in front of you and behind you and beside you with an invitation extended to you to help you out. What have you got to lose by seeing what that would be like? I’m not asking you to join up with a religion, but what if you started a conversation — just you and Him — to see what that would be like? What if you picked up a Bible just out of curiosity?

There are 66 books in a Bible, written by 40 different authors over 1500 years, written on 3 continents, with the stories of wise people, foolish people, moral people, immoral people, great choices, and massive mistakes. God gave the Bible to show us how to live, how to avoid really wrecking our lives; the Bible gives us a picture of what God is like by describing the life of His Son Jesus (“Take a look at Jesus,” the Bible says, “If you can see what He is like, you have seen what God is like”). It might be worth your while to check it out.

For the rest of this post, I am going to assume you are at least curious about what God says about your future; the one with Him in it. Again, I realize you may be holding God at arm’s length and I am o.k. with that if you are. Let’s just explore a couple of ideas together and then you can decide for yourself if it makes sense.

All Things Work Together For Good?

If you view life like a chess match, the pieces are always changing aren’t they? You and your opponent are at the table, you have a strategy, they have a strategy. You make a move based on yours and then they make a move that wrecks your whole plan. In real life, it is pretty hard to have a fool-proof plan. There are so many variables that come into play that we have no control over. But what if you had access to someone who had a view above it all; who could come up with a play no matter how the pieces were arranged on the board?

God has actually said to those who are in a friendship with Him, “I work all things together for good,” which means that for people who are deciding to walk with (rather than away) from God, He will take whatever is going on in our life and use it to do some good. It means that He sees everything that is going on and He never runs out of ideas. It means that nothing now or in our future will be wasted.

That is a powerful thing because it means that

  • No matter what you have done in the past, even if you made mistakes, God will use that as a part of your story to make a difference somewhere.
  • No matter if you are strong or weak in the days to come, God will take whatever you can do or say and make it useful.
  • No matter what gets thrown at you, God will use it all and turn it into a strength instead of a weakness.


God is the great recycler! You can walk into your future with confidence that everything is usable.

Nothing Can Take Away What Has Already Been Given To You

Here is another thing that can give you confidence about your future. There isn’t one second where you are outside of God’s love. Even when you decide not to love God, it doesn’t mean His love for you does not exist. God has said that He loves us with an “eternal love.” Eternal, without end!

One person, reflecting on God’s love said,

I am absolutely convinced that neither
death nor life
angels nor demons
the present or the future
not any power of any kind
neither height nor depth
nor anything in all of creation
will be able to separate us
from the Love of God
that we see demonstrated
through Jesus Christ.

Can you say that about anything or anyone else? You have access to (drumroll)….GOD!

God is looking out for you as you walk into the future and nothing can get in the way of that. Nothing.

The Final Destination

So I haven’t mentioned the big one. Don’t pretend you haven’t thought about it though.

What happens when we  die?

That will happen some time in the future with 100% certainty.

A lot of people hide from this question because it is one of those things you just don’t want to think about. But don’t things we hide from just get scarier? Why not talk about it really straight up? You are smart, with a good head on your shoulders; you want to know what is true. You, like all of us, want to know, when we come to the end of our future, is there another one?

Here is an important piece of information, you actually have some choice in the matter.

Choice #1

You can live your life apart from God. You can choose your own path. You can absolutely have nothing to do with God and the life He offers. You can decide that at the end of your life, you can continue on without God.  If you choose to live separately from God now, after you die you can continue to live separately from God

Sometimes you hear people say, “If God is so loving, why won’t He let EVERYONE into heaven?” Don’t you see? God isn’t saying no to anyone. People are the ones who are choosing to go their own way. People are the ones choosing to not listen to Him and what He has said is TRUE about life and living and sin and forgiveness; God has given us the ultimate gift of choice; we are the ones choosing the paths we are taking.

So, if you choose to live apart from God, you should just know that everything you would call “good” — things like forgiveness, love, generosity, community, joy, goodness, kindness, creativity, beauty — these are all traits that are characteristics God carries with Him. We all have a touch of it because we are made in God’s image. His fingerprints are on us.  If God is out of the picture though, those characteristics are also out of the picture. But you can choose that.

Choice #2

You can choose to live in relationship with God. You can find out what this looks like and do life with Him. You can let him be like a shepherd for your soul, protecting, guiding, speaking into your life. We aren’t stuck. We can agree with God about our “sin” and accept the free gift (remember that word “redemption”) that Jesus offered when He gave His life up for us. When we get to the end of our life, that relationship just naturally carries on and we find ourselves at home with God, only now in a new, face-to-face kind of way. In fact, listen to this great description of what it will be like after we die and find ourselves with God in heaven:

“Look! God’s home is now with the people; He will live with them. They will be His people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

There is so much — SO MUCH — more to talk about when it comes to this topic; I just wanted you to know that not only do you have a future in this life, but you have a future after this life too. This life you are living is just practice for the life you will live with or apart from God. I hope, I sincerely hope, you choose a life with God for so many reasons.

What happens when you die?  It depends on what choice you made while you were living. Each choice — towards God, away from God — is a natural progression. It is like you are standing on a road looking to the left and to the right. Which direction do you want to go? One is a future with God, and one is a future without God.  Do you want to know where your soul will end up?

You are deciding right now.


— Teresa Klassen



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