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 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?
It Reminds Us That God Will Judge the Wicked
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 we 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.
It Teaches Us to Value Eternity Above Temporal Aspirations
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 of 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 the 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 out 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.
However, the writer also cites other outcomes to trusting in the same Lord and the same Word of God. “Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated — of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth” (Hebrews 11: 34-38).
We do not know where a life of faith will take us. We may endure pain and suffering; spend lonely days and nights; watch loved ones die; or become the object of mocking and persecution from those who hate our Lord Jesus. The latter is the case for most followers of Jesus in this world at the present moment.
Please notice that the words of Hebrews 11:39-40 apply to all the heroes of faith, both the conquerors of kingdoms and those running for their lives because of persecution. “And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”
Despite their great triumphs, even these Old Testament heroes of the faith did not receive what God promised them, the heavenly city mentioned in Hebrews 11:14-16. This is the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21:9-26.
The result of saving faith is paradise with joys and wonders that we can only now imagine. This is hope into which Jesus saves us. Earthly hopes fade away as time passes, but our eternal inheritance grows more precious by the day.
It Magnifies Christ as We Look at Our World Through the Lens of Biblical Prophecy
As a result of the mainstream media influence throughout the world, many believers remain oblivious to the fact that they live on the edge of eternity. As a result, they remain blind to how world events point to the nearness of the Tribulation and hence to the Rapture, which must happen before it.
In America, those of us who view the world through the lens of biblical prophecy recognize the dangers inherent with a government that mandates deadly vaccines, seeks to submit our nation to the whims of the globalists under the guise of “build back better,” and vigorously promotes the murder of children in the womb.
We view the rampant lawlessness that defines the U.S., as well as our world, as but a stepping stone leading to the appearance of the “man of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-8).
An abundance of other signs reveals that we live in the last days as prophesied in Scripture. For example:
- As debt grows exponentially in the U.S., as well as in many other nations, the world remains long overdue for an economic crisis of epic proportions.
- Several flashpoints for war exist all around the globe that could quite easily erupt and result in the deaths of tens of millions, if not many more. It will not take much to spark the wars described in Revelation 6:3-4, 8).
- We see the nations aligning precisely as Ezekiel predicted for the Gog-Magog war in chapters 38-39. As tensions continue to arise in Syria, it’s evident that these nations are on a path to conflict, just as the prophet said so long ago.
The good news is that Jesus is coming to take His true church out of this world before the calamity and unspeakable horrors of the Tribulation period. What we now see happening in our world is exactly what the Bible says would happen in the last days before Jesus returns to rule over the nations.
Looking at the world through the lens of biblical prophecy not only helps us better understand our world in the last days, but it also magnifies the person of Jesus.
The book of Revelation begins with these words, “The revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1) and exalts Him over and over again through His judgment of human wickedness, His all-glorious and triumphant return to the earth, His thousand-year reign over the nations, and His final victory over all sin and death as the white throne judgment leads to a spectacular eternal state.
When taken as an eyewitness account of the apostle John of prophetic end-time events (the very thing it repeatedly claims to be), the book of Revelation exalts Jesus from beginning to end. No other book glorifies the Lamb with such majesty from the church age all the way to the eternal state.
Just as with Asaph of old, a scripturally sound contemplation of eternity results in much praise for our Lord Jesus.
Biblical prophecy magnifies our Savior.
[i] Ed Hinson, Future Glory (Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2021), p.7.
[ii] Joe Stowell, Eternity (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), p. 13.