Longing For What’s Ahead

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(article from “Bible Prophecies: Faith, History, & Hope” —American Bible Society)

Jesus said, “I came so everyone would have life, and have it fully.” — John 10:10

The apostle Paul, writer of many of the New Testament letters, told his readers that faith involved a change of citizenship. Christ’s followers were no longer citizens of this world only, but “citizens of heaven” as well (Ephesians 2:19-22; Philippians 3:20-21). It is only natural that a citizen of heaven would long for a bit of paradise.

Yet faith is not meant to be a form of frantic escapism that keeps us from living meaningfully in the present. Paul warned against this kind of response to prophecy when he admonished Christians in Thessalonica to “settle down and start working for a living” (2 Thessalonians 3:12). Taken as a whole, the Bible describes God’s people as those who live fully in the here and now—the abundant life offered by Jesus—and at the same time hope for the future promises still to come.

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