There’s good news about eternity in the Gospel message. Of course, the saving message of the cross assures us as believers of the forgiveness of all our sins and empowers us to walk with the Savior. We must also remember, however, that its saving message also contains great news about forever. It’s this future tense of the Gospel that enables us to put the lawlessness, violence, and wickedness of our world into a proper context.
In Psalm 73, we have the account of Asaph contemplating “the prosperity of the wicked.” Despite their arrogant disregard for God, they enjoyed many of the pleasures and benefits of life. Although they spoke against God and His people, they prospered far above most of those who trusted the Lord and sought to please Him (73:3-12).
The Psalmist admitted the bitterness of his of his heart as he watched the wealthy strut about in their wickedness (73:13-15, 21-22). However, by the end of Psalm 73, Asaph praises the Lord (vv. 23-28). What caused his dramatic change of heart? He “went into the sanctuary of God” and “discerned their end,” speaking of the wicked (73:17).
An eternal perspective changed the heart of the Psalmist. He recognized the future judgment of those prospering in their evil behavior (v. 19) in contrast to the glory that awaited him in eternity (vv. 24-26).
If a modern-day Asaph walked into a church today, would he leave with the same eternal outlook? Would he find that the Gospel message directed his heart to eternity where the Lord will judge the wicked and abundantly reward those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb?
How does our Gospel hope of eternal life help us avoid the initial bitterness of Asaph?
The ancient Asaph recognized the fate of the wicked of his day and that enabled him to cope with their worldly riches and success in spite of their arrogant rejection of God:
Truly you set them in slippery places;
you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors! (Psalm 73:18-19)
The terrors of our day do not escape those with the same perspective as that of Asaph. We see through the pervasive fake news and recognize that our world lies on the precipice of the Tribulation period when the Lord will pour out His wrath on a Christ-rejecting world. We watch as monsters carry out evil schemes, but also understand that these wicked peddlers of death will someday stand before Jesus at the white throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).
I repeatedly go to Psalm 37:1-20 as well as Psalm 73 when the evils of our day begin to overwhelm me. I know that the elite will someday succeed in bringing about a worldwide empire that will become the kingdom of the antichrist, but the Bible tells me that the Lord will totally destroy this evil empire when He returns to the earth (Revelation 19:17-21; 2 Thessalonians 2:8).
Apart from a total collapse of the globalists’ agenda and cataclysmic changes in governments around the world, including that in the U.S., the world will continue its certain and rapid movement toward the seven-year Tribulation during which time the Lord will judge all those who reject the Savior and promote the lawlessness growing rapidly in our world.
Ed Hindson, in his book Future Glory, writes,
“God has planned an incredible eternal experience for every believer. We were created for eternity and redeemed for eternity. But life has a way pf focusing our attention on our immediate cares and not our ultimate goal. . . . No matter how hard we try, we are never satisfied with anything less than that which is eternal.”[i]
Dr. Hindson also quoted Joe Stowell, “Life is most disappointing, most despairing when it is lived as though this world is all we have.”[ii]
We need an eternal focus to see us through our lives. This does not mean that we fail to enjoy the blessings God sends our way, but we do so with the understanding that eternity will be far better than the grandest of our aspirations and dreams. Paul aptly expressed this two-world perspective in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
This is the New Testament version of the outlook on life that Asaph gained from considering the tragic fate of the wicked versus glorious destiny of the redeemed. As New Testament saints, we have a decided advantage over Asaph in that we have a much clearer picture of our joyous future in eternity.
Our eternal journey begins with the Lord giving us immortal and imperishable bodies, snatching us away from the earth, and taking us to the place He’s preparing for us in Heaven.
Jesus saved us so that we might possess eternal life and spend eternity with Him.
IT PLACES OUR ULTIMATE HOPE IN ETERNITY
As the writer of Hebrews looked back at the heroes of faith in the Old Testament, he noted that some “through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises . . . escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong our of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight” (Hebrews 11:33-34). We would like to think that our faith might have a similar result, and that may very well be the case. The Lord often blesses His children in a variety of ways.