Beliefs about the future can be interesting. Where we get those beliefs can be even more so. Back in the day, I began to read the “Left Behind” series as a young teenager. I thought those books made sense, from what I saw in the Bible. Turns out, they are great fiction, but seriously misinterpret what’s written.
For me, that begged the question: Okay, so what DOES the Bible/Christianity say? This is something I’ve been studying purposefully now for at least 6-7 years. The journey has been very rewarding. It continues today. Many of the things I’ve gained over the years have surprised me, and they may surprise you as well.
For many, when the subject is raised, we take on a defensive stance. Maybe because we really want our beliefs to stay what they are. Maybe because honestly, we haven’t given it all much thought. These issues, because they’ve not been spoken of much from pulpits in the past 10-20 years, have been relegated to non-issues, or peripherals of our faith.
I’ll admit, they can be. Unfortunately. There can be discussions at great length on these things, and we can walk away thinking, “huh, that’s kinda neat”.
But lately I’ve been realizing the importance of these things. The lens of Hope that we view all of life through. What we believe Christianity “saves us” to. The Life and Christ that have gone ahead of us, and the Spirit which is here with us today…what are they guiding/drawing us towards?
There are a lot of problems/issues within churches today, and many books published telling us what they are. If you want to write a book, and have it sell well, just bash on the church, and throw a marketable cover on it.
For whatever might be wrong with the church, I believe an important part of being the Church better has to do with reclaiming the Hope for tomorrow, TODAY. We have an incredible gift as God’s people, and a power of the Holy Spirit that we are leaving in the pew, if even there. Most of our church either:
1. Hasn’t really heard much about God’s plan for us and creation, other than fanciful descriptions of Heaven and Greek-influenced descriptions of Hell.
2. Believes life is all about “doing good things” until we can get “raptured” out of here, because everything that matters is “in Heaven”.
If all this piques your interest, I encourage you to read the scriptures again. Read a book like “Answers for Chicken Little” by Dan Boone, or “In God’s Time” by Craig C. Hill, or even my current read “Surprised by Hope” by N.T. Wright. Talk about these things with others, not because you know exactly what’s going on, but because you KNOW that our HOPE (lens) can give life TODAY.