Your Magnificent Future! | Tomorrow's World

Your Magnificent Future!

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How do you picture yourself spending eternity? Will you roll around on a cloud, harp in hand, all day? Your Bible reveals the amazing truth about the fulfilling and meaningful activity God is planning for you in His Kingdom!

In spite of the trials and tests we all go through, you and I have the potential for an absolutely magnificent future—a future of incredible joy and accomplishment far beyond what most people even imagine; a future that really answers the fundamental question we all ask: "Why was I born?"

As a young boy growing up in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in southern Missouri, I often sat on the hills and looked up at the sky. In the long, lazy summer days of that era, I pondered: "Is there a special reason why we human beings are put on this earth?" I also wondered, "Why do we have to suffer? Why do human beings go through awful trials, wars, sicknesses, suffering—and death itself?"

Then, when I was 23 years old, the real answer began to come! I was taking a graduate class in theology conducted by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong—one of the most remarkable teachers of our time. One day, he said: "Fellows, something has been coming strongly to my mind that seems almost heretical. Obviously, I don't want to teach or believe anything that is wrong or heretical. But this new understanding seems to leap right out of the Bible itself. And it is something mainstream religionists and philosophers have never understood."

"Yet," Mr. Armstrong continued, "if any of you graduate students can prove to me out of the Bible that this remarkable new understanding is wrong, please do so! In fact, I ask you to research this matter over the next several weeks as we must be sure to teach only what the Bible actually says!"

I had been preparing to teach a class on the Epistles of Paul when Mr. Armstrong put forth this challenge. Over the next several weeks—in fact, for several months and years—many of us continued to examine this fundamental topic, to see if we could disprove this startling new idea. However, the more I studied, the more convinced I became that this new understanding was, in fact, a magnificent truth that had been overlooked by most religionists. For it reveals the genuine answer to why we are on this earth and the real purpose for our lives. I have continued to meditate about—and research—this true biblical understanding now for more than 50 years.


The ultimate purpose for human existence was an absolute "mystery" to the great thinkers and philosophers of the past. It is a mystery today to the vast majority of professing Christian ministers. The Apostle Paul wrote of "the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints" (Colossians 1:26). What is this profound "mystery?"

Paul continues: "To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (vv. 27–28).

The hope of "glory?" The need to present every man "perfect" in Christ Jesus?

Yes! For the exciting, scintillating future Almighty God has planned for His children is almost beyond human imagination! Yet, your Bible tells us, "God is love" (1 John 4:8). In His all-encompassing love, God has truly made all human beings "in His image."

At the very beginning of the Bible, God reveals to us a great deal about our purpose and our potential future. "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:26–27). God made every human being—both male and female—"in His image."

Notice that God said, "Let us make man in Our image." For God the Father and the Word—the Personality who later emptied Himself and became Jesus Christ—were conferring together as they planned to make all human beings in their image. What power would human beings have? They said, "Let them have dominion…" Dominion means rule. From the beginning, human beings were given a limited degree of authority and dominion over all other creatures on the earth. Regarding our environment, God told Adam and Eve to "tend and keep it" (Genesis 2:15). So, although the lions and tigers on land, and the huge whales and ferocious sharks in the sea, are much larger and more powerful than man, we have authority and capacity to capture them and put them in cages or holding tanks—not the other way around! For God has given us mind power and creative imagination far beyond what any other creature remotely possesses. In our bodily form and in our mental capacity and creative imagination and ability, we are certainly made—in vital ways—"in God's image!"

When ancient King David of Israel looked up at the heavens and contemplated the magnificent universe, he exclaimed: "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet" (Psalm 8:4–6).

In this inspiring passage, David revealed that God put "all things" under our feet. But how far does this extend? Our Creator inspired the writer of Hebrews to quote from the above passage, and then to explain more. "You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Hebrews 2:8–11).

Many scholars acknowledge that ta panta—the inspired expression in the original Greek in this passage—refers to the whole cosmos—the entire universe! Yet the writer of Hebrews acknowledges, "We do not yet see all things put under him."

Not yet.

Even so, with our God-given mental powers and creative imagination, mankind is now planning to "conquer" the heavens. For, indeed, human beings are made like God Himself more than most people realize! And God does want us to be fully like Him someday—His genuine sons in His spirit-born Family forever!

That is why you were born!

God's Ultimate PURPOSE

This is not just a sentimental matter. It involves human beings breaking through barriers of time, space and substance into an entirely new dimension of existence. For we were created with the potential and the ultimate purpose of becoming members of God's Family, and joining Him and Christ in ruling the entire universe! When Paul wrote that "all things" are put under man's feet, and that God "left nothing that is not under him"—but "not yet"—he clearly indicated that we are to be spirit beings joining with Christ and the Father in directing cosmic events throughout the universe in ages to come!

Therefore, as even Jesus was made "perfect through sufferings," so we too must go through trials and tests and absolutely prove to God that we are totally surrendered to Him—totally loyal to His purpose for our lives. Setting us the example, Christ is "bringing many sons to glory!"

I am blessed to have four sons and two daughters. My children are of the same level of existence and human stature that I am! My own children, who proceeded from me and from my wife, are not on some inferior level! As the Apostle Paul was inspired to write: "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29). If Christ is the firstborn among many brethren, are His brothers of some lower species—such as goats, chickens or spiders?

Notice! The Bible makes statements like this again and again. The Bible also reveals that the Church is the affianced "bride" of Jesus Christ! For the Apostle Paul writes: "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body" (Ephesians 5:22–23). Is Christ's wife of some lower species of existence? By the time of the "wedding supper"—when Christ "marries" His Church—will the resurrected saints of God be on Christ's level of existence, or will He marry some lower being?

Remember what Jesus Himself said about our future: "But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels [immortal] and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection" (Luke 20:35–36). So the genuine saints of God become "sons of the resurrection" and they cannot die. And the full sons of God in the resurrection will look like Christ—"we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2).

What does Jesus Christ look like now? The Bible reveals, "One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength" (Revelation 1:13–16).

Jesus Christ is very God. His face shines like the sun! Those of us who are willing to truly surrender our hearts, minds and wills to God, and come to Him in this way through Jesus Christ in genuine repentance, can look forward to this kind of magnificent glory! For the God of the Bible wants all of us to become real sons—not just lesser beings God merely calls His sons! So, after genuine conversion, God puts His very divine nature within true Christians. That is why Peter was inspired to reveal that, by God's divine power, there "have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:3–4).

Of course, it is easy for "learned" theologians to spiritualize away these and many other similar statements. But there are so many inspired scriptures like this all through the Bible, indicating the awesome opportunity and glory God has in mind for those who ultimately surrender to His will and to His purpose! The Apostle Paul tells Christians that we should be "able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" (Ephesians 3:18–20). Paul was inspired to write that the overcomers will eventually be filled with "all the fullness of God." Is Paul just being "emotional" in this passage? Or will our Father in heaven actually share His very glory with future "sons"—real sons—who will truly be "like Him" just as you and I are like our human fathers?

Jesus' Final Prayer

Please think carefully about the real meaning of Jesus' final prayer to His Father in John 17. In the most awesome prayer ever recorded in the pages of the Bible, the Son of God asked His Father, "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was" (John 17:5). Most of you realize that Jesus was with God from the beginning of creation, that, "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (John 1:3). So it is obvious that Christ asked the Father to restore the full glory He had when—acting for the Father—Christ as the Old Testament "Logos" created the entire universe! For He was totally God in every sense!

Then, after praying for His disciples, Jesus said, "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me" (John 17:20–23).

Can we fully grasp the awesome request the Son of God made in this prayer? For He was asking that those of us who "believe in Me through their word" share with Him—obviously in the resurrection—the full glory He now shares with the Father. My friends, Jesus really meant what He said in this inspired prayer—preserved for us as God Himself inspired the writing and the preservation of Scripture. He was asking that His true followers eventually become full sons of God!

For the Father and Christ are composed of lovetotal outflowing concern for one another and for their creation! They want to share with their family a love, interaction and warm fellowship that is in one sense similar to, but in reality is far more intimate than, what the happiest human families share today.

When we become full sons of God in the resurrection, we will be able to interact with Christ and the Father and share fully in Their thoughts, plans and projects. We will, no doubt, join with them in various future creative projects and activities throughout the vast universe! For God is not static. He grows. He expands and increases. The entire Bible shows He is that kind of Personality, and that we are to "be like Him" in every way. The prophet Isaiah was inspired to tell us, "Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end" (Isaiah 9:7).

Even now, the brilliant imagination and creative capacity of humanity has caused many inventors and scientists to speculate about totally "conquering" outer space, and about populating other planets or even universes in the future! On National Public Radio recently, I heard a respected top university professor speculate that it now appears human beings could someday "create" an entire universe!

Is this respected science professor insane?

Not really. But he is way ahead of himself—and of mankind's present capacity! For, sadly, human beings have not conquered their own human nature—their own selfishness, vanity, lust and greed. As the Apostle James tells us, "Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:1–2).

Because of our tendency to yield to our "human" nature—or actually Satan's nature, implanted in most people through his vast influence (Ephesians 2:2)—human beings will be sidetracked long before they are able to attain this scientist's dream. However, those who are willing to humble themselves, and genuinely seek the mind and will of their Creator, will eventually rule the entire universe, along with Jesus Christ! But it will have to happen God's way, not the selfish, misguided human way.

When that occurs, however, we human beings will "explode" into an entirely different dimension of existence. We will then have power as God has power. We will then think like God—with total understanding, wisdom, self-control and genuine outflowing love. We will then be able to function as the "God Family"—always surrendering to the Father and to Christ—interacting with them and with one another in an exhilarating creative existence of accomplishment and joy throughout all eternity.

This is your awesome future—if you can believe what the Bible really does indicate again and again! This is why God tells us, in so many ways, that He has made us "in His image." This is why God "tests" us again and again, and puts us "through the wringer" in so many situations to see if we will truly surrender to His will. Yet, if we are willing to surrender to the true God of the Bible through Jesus Christ—the One who is the total revelation of who God is and what He is like—then, along with Jesus, we will become full members of the God Family, and join Christ and the Father in the most awe-inspiring, exhilarating and joyous existence the human mind can even begin to contemplate!

In spite of trials and tests, I hope it is now obvious—if you are willing to understand—that you can look forward to a truly awesome and magnificent future! But God offers you that future only on the condition that you are willing to "come out" of this present world, truly believe the God of the Bible, and literally give your life to Him through the real Jesus Christ. Then, He will give you an opportunity and a magnificent future far beyond what philosophers and scientists have ever remotely envisioned! For God Himself tells us: "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8–9).


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